Recently, during a stroll on Cortland Avenue, your Bernalwood editor ran into Neighbor David. It was a sunny day, and Neighbor David was in grand spirits, because, he said, he was still high from the amazing dinner he’d had the night before at 3rd Cousin.
As you may recall, 3rd Cousin is the new restaurant at 919 Cortland, that used to be a popup called Kinfolk. 3rd Cousin is owned and run by Chef Greg Lutes, and as with every culinary entrepreneur, his effort to open 3rd Cousin in a permanent location has been an arduous labor of love and obsession. 919 Cortland used to be home to the somewhat less stylish Pizza Express, but now Chef Greg has transformed it into a casual venue for his elegant food with Michelin star aspirations. Crazy, right?
Anyway, when I bumped into him, Neighbor David gushed about the food at 3rd Cousin, which he described as being thoughtful and well-prepared but not too fussy. He said the prices at 3d Cousin are a on the higher side, but the quality of experience made it a worthy indulgence every once in a while. And he said the desserts were mind-blowing.
Hmmmmmmm! I thought.
Then, just a few days later, San Francisco Magazine published an article about “Four Restaurants We’re Crazy For.” 3rd Cousin was at the top of the list:
At the brick-and-mortar incarnation of his erstwhile Kinfolk pop-up, Greg Lutes serves cozy seasonal fare in an austere charcoal-gray dining room. A robust salad of baby mustard greens comes garnished with persimmon, garrotxa cheese, and dehydrated batons of purple yam, while grilled swordfish is rendered addictive by a shower of dukka, an Egyptian spice blend. Lutes’s strengths are best showcased in his savory uni crème brûlée: The caviar-topped number proves that you can teach an old dessert new, and impressive, tricks.
Frankly, I only understood about half of that.
But the point is, when both the critics and an actual man-on-the-street are talking about 3rd Cousin, that’s a strong indication something special is going on there. I’m looking forward to trying it out.
PHOTO: Telstar Logistics