San Francisco’s Mid Market neighborhood is poised to welcome another all-star restaurant cast this week, with the opening of Oro in Mint Plaza. Cocktail and culinary veterans from Commonwealth, Central Kitchen, Foreign Cinema, and Saison have aligned for an eclectic California-meets-Mediterranean menu, servied in a contemporary industrial space with exposed concrete walls and custom-made chandeliers.
Jason Fox (of Commonwealth) draws inspiration from recent travels to Barcelona, Greece, and Egypt for fresh, olive oil-driven dishes. Crisp halibut chicharrones, pillowy potato gnocchi with corn and chanterelles, and pork terrine with elderberry, capers, and horseradish arrive at the walnut table as sharable plates. A whole animal charcuterie program is in the works for coppa de testa, salami cotto, and rabbit rillettes. For a more surprising experience, a blind tasting menu lets you relinquish control to the chefs for off-the-menu, family-style dishes for a set price.
House-made syrups, tinctures, and shrubs are infused into Oro’s craft cocktail menu, like the Barbary & Hearst, with strawberry-infused bourbon, Meyer lemon, and ginger. Riffing on the sharable theme is a section on the cocktail menu devoted to communal cocktails for groups, such as the Octopus’s Garden, with gin, Aperol, grapefruit, lemon, Peychaud’s bitters, and soda. For oenophiles, Saison former head somm, Kelly Evans, curates a 100-plus-bottle wine list, as well as a coveted reserve list.
The design pulls it all together, in an urban space with a white marble bar and high top tables. The concrete walls are adorned with works by local artists who are part of the restaurant’s rotating art program.