I met up with a couple of girlfriends at 1300 Fillmore which I have been anxious to try ever since I attended an interview with chef/owner David Lawrence at Studio Gourmet in Potrero Hill. The restaurant is in the Fillmore District, a few blocks from Geary which is easy to get to by public transportation. It’s right next to the illustrious Yoshi’s Nightclub and Restaurant and the historic Fillmore Auditorium. The rear wall is adorned with a gorgeous display of backlit B&W photos that is called the Heritage Wall with archival images of the neighborhood dating from the late 1800′s through the height of the jazz scene in the late 1950′s. It creates a magnificent glowing ambience for the swanky bar. Yes, this is one of those places with muted lighting where you recline on low cushy chairs blending in with the elegant and sophisticated surroundings that makes everyone look good… They present live music performed by local talent in the lounge on Friday nights and gospel brunch on Sunday.
The interior of the restaurant is sleek with soft mood lighting surrounded by gauzy fabric that creates a cozy intimacy.
I find it entirely amusing that the Chef who was raised in London and trained in classical French techniques, has a supperclub in the Fillmore district where he serves upscale versions of low country cuisine. We began with a basket filled with warm triangles of cornbread served with honeybutter and sweet and spicy pepper jam.
The Freshwater Shrimp Hushpuppies ($15) were like tiny shrimp corndogs, the tails providing a convenient handle to hold. They were fresh from the fryer and so delicious dipped into the ancho chili remoulade.
Chris was captivated by the Fried Green Tomato Salad ($14) which included disks of warm panko crusted chevre herb goat cheese served with tender greens dressed with a lavender honey vinaigrette. The flavors were wonderfully complex. The rich tart creamy cheese enclosed with a savory crunchy crust became truly brilliant when dragged through the drizzled rings of sweet lavender honey. And I don’t normally like sweets in my salad…
We inhaled the tender Barbecue Shrimp served over Creamy Grits ($14). It is topped with minced fresh chives and sprinkled with fried garlic which added sparkles of flavors when you bit into them. I am going to just say that this dish rivals the version I enjoyed at Georgia Brown’s in DC many years ago… Those grits are indulgently rich and creamy.
We decided to split an entree and were torn between chef David’s signature fried chicken and the short ribs, but since we already plowed through a couple of deep fried plates, we went with the ribs. Maple Syrup Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs ($28) topped with crispy onion rings and served over creamy horseradish-chive mashed potatoes. The meat fell apart when prodded with a fork and I wished we had a little pitcher with more of the delectable gravy… do you hear me Chef Lawrence?
Unfortunately, we decided to pass on dessert and neither did we see Chef Lawrence in the house that night, but here is a photo I took of him at the Studio Gourmet interview, such a charmer… You can follow him on twitter here, or the restaurant in general here.