Stock & Barrel is the first solo venture from chef Jon Stevens, opening at 316 Davis St., in the old Safety Glass Co. building. It promises to be a game-changer not just because of its chef-driven persona and high degree of refinement, but also because of the positive effect it will have on the neighborhood.
With other recent openings nearby including Pier 347 and the relocated Cretia's, opening a few doors down, as well as the trolley station that will open across from Zoli's a block away, it extends the reach of Bishop Arts and shifts its center eastward.
Described as "kitchen Americana," the menu at Stock & Barrel is a savvy fusion of familiarity, invention and au courant trends.
For Stevens, opening Stock & Barrel is a major stepping stone that he describes as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, and the restaurant shows a corresponding degree of thought and care.
Large front windows and a tasteful, discreet sign fit into the neighborhood aesthetic. The redesign follows a green strategy by recycling wood rafters removed during the raising of the building's roof.
Stevens himself used them to build planter boxes containing rosemary and lavender that run along the back patio. They're also featured prominently as colorful vertical slats on a wall that runs from the dining room and around to the bar.
The interior is a stunner, with its modern industrial undertones, yet it still feels warm and elegant. It boasts a minimalist palette of grays in varying shades – from cool metallic silver to warm taupe – and a wide range of contrasting textures: wood-grain tabletops, metal fixtures, and a wall that looks like raked cement.
Two massive mirrors hang in thick gun-metal gray steel frames. Executed by metal craftsman Bruce Witter, the steel also appears in shelving and the showpiece front door.
Banquettes are done in a charcoal-gray leatherette with cording. The walls look like vintage pewter. Concrete floors have a smoky, cloudy appearance. The room's big pop of color comes from the gleaming orange-red tiles that form a backsplash behind the open kitchen.
Described as "kitchen Americana," the menu at Stock & Barrel is a savvy fusion of familiarity, invention and au courant trends. There's a burger with brisket and meat loaf made with Wagyu beef. Instead of veal there is lamb Milanese, with spaetzle, pickled mushrooms, arugula and mustard jus.
Roast chicken is a half chicken with a spicy red harissa marinade, served with asparagus quinoa salad and charred lemon. Prices top out at $29 for tilefish with tomato and fava beans.
There are many vegetable options, all creative, including coal-roasted eggplant with bulgur salad, grilled artichoke, fava bean toasts, goat cheese dumplings with hen of the woods and greens. "Vegetables are fun because you can be creative with them," Stevens says.
At Stock & Barrel, he's joined by general manager Jeff Hudson, a fellow alumni of Neighborhood Services as well as Bob's Steakhouse. "Our personalities are complementary," Stevens says – but they are alike in one regard: their seriousness about this new venture.