Taking over the former Nettie's Crab Shack space at 2032 Union Street is a new island-themed concept, Palm House, which debuts tonight after some considerable renovations. The team behind it includes Gayle Pirie, executive chef-owner of Foreign Cinema, as well one of her former chefs de cuisine, Lea Walker, and Anderson Pugash and his partners from new SoMa spot Bergerac. The theme: pan-tropical food and drinks, in an updated, West Indies-colonial style space.
As Pugash explains, "We didn't want to limit ourselves in terms of ingredients or flavors. We just wanted to make food that tastes good. So it's really a mix of flavors from all tropical regions, from the Caribbean, to Hawaii, to Latin America and Africa."
The menu features a group of cocktail-friendly bites including tostones (fried plantains) with house-made mojo rojo and queso fresco; fried jalapenos with smoked guava salt; and Thai-style chicken wings. There's also tuna ceviche, a Cuban-style gazpacho, coconut prawns, Red Stripe-battered fish and chips, and an island-spiced burger with jerk-dijon mayo and mango ketchup. It's a casual, easy-to-like menu that tops out at $23 for bigger dishes like some Trinidad-style grilled prawns, and the tri-tip steak with tri-color "rasta" peppers.
Booze-wise, they've brought over Anthony Parks from Bergerac and Audio to be bar manager, and the drink menu includes some expected tropical classics like a Mai Tai, a Margarita, a Mojito, and a Pina Colada, as well as some other more interesting options like the Loose Cannon (bourbon, Aperol, lemon, cinnamon syrup) and the Lost Love (cucumber vodka, pineapple gomme, and lime). And, there's a slushy machine, incased in copper to make it a little more classy, that will be serving a rotating selection of boozy, slushy drinks.
Check out our gallery of the new interior, designed by Shelly Amoroso, which includes a pergola covered patio facing Union Street (with heatlamps), and a semi-private dining room in back that seats 12.
Palm House - 2032 Union between Webster and Buchanan - Open Wed-Sun 5pm to midnight and Brunch Sat-Sun 10am to 2pm