By Land and by Sea

Food From Cloned Animals Seems Safe, a Panel Finds—there’s an unsettling headline if I've ever seen one. What's reassuring about a panel saying something as off the wall as eating food sourced from clones "seems safe"? I think I’ll pass.

Wood-oven roasted rib eye

Luckily Jan Birnbaum—executive chef and partner of the soon-to-open Epic Roasthouse—has a philosophy of sourcing meat that I can sink my teeth into. His menu’s cover page starts with a recognition of the ranches and farms where he gets his meat and produce, and a mission statement of returning “back to basics.” It’s reassuring to know that he believes in keeping the journey from the farm to the table as simple as possible—and is yet another reason why I’m excited for Epic’s opening in two weeks.

Chef Birnbaum and Pat Kuleto

Wine Director Nicole Burke

Last week, I got to attend a hard hat, roaming lunch at Waterbar and Epic Roasthouse—Pat Kuleto’s latest project along the Embarcadero. While I had seen Waterbar during its construction, I didn’t get the chance to track Epic’s metamorphosis. So, when I stepped into this industrial, yet rustic space I was surprised by its stark contrast from Waterbar just next door. Plush carpeting, a bold seven-foot fly wheel in the center of the dining room, huge metal pipes overhead, dark overstuffed chairs and reclaimed mahogany wood table tops—all add to that cozy charm a steakhouse ought to have.

Chef Birnbaum’s 30-year career—Paul Prudhomme’s K-Paul in New Orleans, Campton Place in SF, Catahoula in Napa and Sazerac in Seattle, to name a few—is reflected in the extensive menu. Just for lunch alone, we feasted on three different selections of potatoes (scalloped au gratin, steak fries and potato onion pie), four veggies (brussels sprouts amadine, sautéed spinach, truffled cauliflower and fried onion rings) and an impressive wood-oven roasted rib eye. I think our lunch represented about one percent of the menu, which includes: ceviche and salumi, hot and cold apps, cold and warm salads, seafood, chicken, duck, beef, veal/lamb, pork, charcuterie and more. Epic indeed.

Epic Roasthouse
369 The Embarcadero
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