It’s taken a long time and an insane amount of hard work to get to this place, but last night Bernal’s own Hillside Supper Club opened for business in its new, permanent, non-pop-up incarnation at the southwest corner of Precita Park.
Happily, the foodies over at GrubStreet wrote up the backstory (so I don’t have to):
The space has been known as Caffe Cozzolino for about fifteen years, and the owners of that business decided to turn over the reins to up-and-coming chefs Jonathan Sutton and Tony Ferrari, who have long dreamed of opening their own place after years working the lines atAcquerello, Michael Mina, and Jean-George Vongerichten’s J&G Steakhouse in D.C., between them, as well as numerous stints in European kitchens. “We’re extremely excited,” Ferrari tells us. “And the community of Bernal Heights has just been the most amazing place to open a restaurant. It’s like a little village, and everyone’s been so supportive.”
As a team, Sutton and Ferrari began as Bernal Supper Club with third partner Miles Carnahan. Carnahan continues to do small, underground dinners using the name, and so, for the restaurant, Sutton and Ferrari decided to name it for the hillside on which the place sits, on a prime corner across from Precita Park.
The menu is casual, seasonal, Italian-influenced California fare, and part of the formula for their success so far has been a three-course prix fixe for $32, with à la carte options as well. They’ll be expanding a bit, with eight appetizers and four entrées available each night, as well as a specials board.
Along the way, HSC also spiffied-up the restaurant’s interior, adding an industrial-ish bar/countertop, repainting the walls, installing new light fixtures, and applying a handsome coat of paint.
I stopped in at HSC late last night to send Chef Jonathan and Chef Tony my congratulations, because Bernalwood has been a fan their food since the very beginning.
I caught them just as they were enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate the end of their first day. Both men exuded a cheerful mix of elation and exhaustion. They said the restaurant had been crazy super-busy during their opening night — which is the kind of neighborhood welcome they deserve.
There’s no sign out front yet (still waiting for a permit), but HSC is now officially open every night but Tuesday. Weekend brunch is also coming soon.
Here’s a peek at the opening menu:
PHOTOS: By Telstar Logistics, on January 23, 2012