The much anticipated return of chefs David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher, taking over a cozy Japantown space, arrives this week, but the new restaurant is not exactly Marlena part 2.
The name of the restaurant, as we surmised back in June, is 7 Adams — and we now know this is an homage to Fisher's childhood home in upstate New York, and the street he grew up on. The husband-and-wife team, who left their three-year-old restaurant Marlena in late June, have moved into the space formerly occupied by neighborhood gem Gardenias at 1963 Sutter Street, which closed over the summer.
Like Marlena, 7 Adams will offer a tasting menu experience, this one five courses for $87. But here, each night's menu will culminate with a large-format entree shared family style — something that Fisher says, he hopes, will take some of the stuffiness out of the fine-dining experience. Dishes being offered include roasted black cod in a mussel butter sauce, and a chicken farce.
Fish and vegetable dishes are likely to start the meal — and fans of Marlena will likely see the reappearance of a popular scallop dish in which Hokkaido scallops are dressed with cured black olives and fish sauce crème fraiche and covered in a pickle brine gelatin "veil." And all menus will include a handmade pasta course, with everything changing with the seasons, and diners will be able to choose between two or three pasta options. Current options are red kabocha squash caramelle with sunflower pesto and smoked chives, and tagliatelle with braised lamb shoulder ragu and shaved matsutake mushrooms. There is also a ricotta gnudi available as a supplement, with black truffle, parmesan, and poached new crop chestnuts.
Ultimately, Fisher says, the plan is to offer a traditional chef's counter tasting menu at the restaurant's six-seat counter as well, which will vary in its number of courses by the night.
Each night's menu will also conclude with one Chow Fisher's desserts, like hojicha opera cake with compressed pear, or apple crumb cake with satsuma "snow".
The Fishers cut their teeth in New York City kitchens — the pair met while working at Pearl & Ash, and Serena also worked as pastry chef at the Michelin three-star Eleven Madison Park. They made an immediate name for themselves after opening Marlena in Bernal Heights at the height of the pandemic in mid-2020, starting out just offering picnic-basket to-go meals.
They would go on to earn a Michelin star in their first year in business, but ultimately the restaurant's demise came about due to a conflict with business partner and restaurant owner Stephan Roulland. (Roulland has gone on to reopen the former Marlena as Foliage, with a new chef.) Earlier this year, they partnered with Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group, and now they have a new restaurant with a charming back patio to boot.
Chow Fisher tells Eater this week that it's been especially exciting to be able to start over on their own terms.
"Everything here was so intentional," she tells Eater. "It’s just so purposeful that it brings new meaning to this fresh start for us. Now, this is actually a really great representation of who we are as people and cooks and chefs."
7 Adams is now accepting reservations, and will be serving seven nights a week.