Originally set to open Friday and pushed into next week, Loveski Deli is the newest project from Michelin-star chef Christopher Kostow and his wife Martina, inside Napa's Oxbow Public Market.
The bagel boom in San Francisco and the East Bay has been well underway for a couple of years now, and just this spring alone SF is getting two new bagel shops — Schlok's, which just opened off Divisadero a couple weeks back, and the first brick-and-mortar location of Midnite Bagel.
But little did we know that Christopher Kostow, who for years has been at the helm of the currently dormant, Michelin three-star Restaurant at Meadowood — the building was destroyed in the Glass Fire in September 2020 — has been plotting a bagel business and "Jew-ish deli" concept of his own.
Kostow, a Chicago native, has spent most of his adult life — and culinary life — in California. And he tells the Chronicle this week that he wasn't interested in building a brand that had "this faux reference point of New York City or the Old World." Instead, there's a clear freedom on this deli menu to do things as a California chef would.
"It’s a very big tent, this way of cooking, and it should be firmly rooted in who we are and where we are," Kostow says.
At Loveski Deli, the breakfast menu is ruled by Montreal-style sourdough bagels and bagel sandwiches. In the bagel flavors, you can already get a sense of Left Coast differentiation. There's poppy and sesame, sure, as well as "seeded" everything. The salt bagel specifies that's artisanal Jacobsen Salt Co. salt, though. There's a gluten-free bagel option. And there's a "famous yeast" bagel that's coated in nutritional yeast and develops a special crust.
In addition to a pastrami, egg and cheese sandwich, there are smoked salmon and trout roe sandwich options. And there's a veggie bagel with "veggies from our farm," topped with miso veggie spread and "Loveski vinaigrette."
The reuben sandwich, available for lunch and dinner, features white kimchi in place of sauerkraut, and gochujang dressing. And while there's a standard, classic sounding pastrami on rye available, your whitefish salad at Loveski will come with a dash of Thai chile.
And there are a couple of "drinking noshes" on the daytime menu as well, which will be quite in demand for the wine-tasting tourist set, descending into town after a day of sipping with some drunk hours to kill before dinner. Those include some pastrami-topped "loaded" fries, as well as potato latkes, with the option to add trout roe ($25), or some baller caviar ($75).
The starter that's being used for the bagels, as Kostow tells the Chronicle, is 30-year-old Charter Oak starter — The Charter Oak, which Kostow opened in 2018 as a more casual offshoot to Meadowood, however the next-door Charter Oak Winery has been there for a century, and perhaps the starter originated with the family there, or the predecessor restaurant to Charter Oak, Michael Chiarello's beloved Tra Vigne.
Once all the inspections are complete, presumably by Monday or Tuesday, Loveski Deli will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Loveski Deli - Oxbow Public Market - 610 First Street, Napa