Trick Dog opened last Monday to excited bar-goers and rave reviews. The newest hot spot in the Mission may be in its infant stages, but veterans of the bar scene, Scott Baird and Josh Harris, know how to kick things into high gear. It just so happens that this pair, better known as the Bon Vivants, are masterminds behind many of the drinks you’ve sipped in SF lately. And like the pros they are, they unveiled their newest project without a hiccup.
The extensive drink list takes its form as a Pantone color guide–the de facto color tool for artists, designers, and home-renovators alike. The bar, a loft tucked away on 20th and Florida, is small but open, industrial yet intimate, with pink floors and multi-colored bar stools to play off of the Pantone theme. The balcony holds a handful of two-seater tables, elevating the bar above most of its kind by giving it a romantic edge. I wouldn’t turn down a date in this dive.
The unique menu features drinks distinctively named the Gypsy Tan, Witchwood, Baby Turtle, and Pennies From Heaven. Savory flavors such as rosemary, curry, allspice, and mint mix with sweet beets, cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon to delightfully confuse your taste buds. A highlight for me was the Pantone, concocted of bourbon, Combier, Kummel, beet, ginger, and lemon, the perfect devilish detox after a holiday of overindulging (at least, that’s how I rationalized it).
Not only is Trick Dog’s drink menu fresh and colorful, but the bar snacks will have you coming back for late night nibbles. Chef Chester Watson gives us a fun and delicious new spin on bar food. Menu highlights include their Scotch Egg, Brussels Sprouts, and Sweetie McNuggets. The Scotch Egg is the size of an ostrich egg, soft-boiled and covered in brandade (a mixture of dried salt cod, potatoes, breadcrumbs, and olive oil), and then fried to perfection. When cutting into the morsel, you’re met with the crunch of the exterior, followed by the richness of the egg and its delightfully runny yolk. It’s served over a beet confit with salmon roe and crème fraiche. The contrast of the sweet beets, salty roe, and cooling cream add a depth to the dish and flavors that are reminiscent of traditional Scandinavian cuisine. The Brussels sprouts are simple but sinful. Crispy and smoky, they're mixed with fried sunchoke chips and tossed with a bacon vinaigrette. And don’t miss out on the McNuggets— fried sweetbreads served with a stone fruit sweet n’ sour sauce. With snacks like these, Trick Dog takes bar food to the next level.
Unsurprisingly, Trick Dog is headed for great things. With neighbors such as Flour + Water, Schmidt’s, and Southern Pacific Brewing, we’re sure to find people trekking further West for their insatiable food and drink appetites. Open from 3 pm to 2 am daily, it’s the perfect place for a post-work drink with friends, a hot date, or a late night bite. And, fingers crossed, there have been rumors of a brunch menu.
Trick Dog, 3010 20th St., 415-471-2999