The same week chef Joshua Skenes gets crowned Best Chef by San Francisco Magazine, he and the Scoop are teasing us today with more partial news of Saison’s eventual move downtown. As hinted earlier, Skenes and partner/wine director Mark Bright have their sights set on Jackson Square, and Skenes now says they’re closer to a deal. But even if it gets hammered out soon, we’re not looking at a move and closure of the Mission space before spring 2012, in all likelihood. But the service style of the restaurant is the big thing that is likely to change in the new space.
The place will shrink to 30 seats, with one seating a night, and Skenes will be using his staff of fifteen or so cooks to perform service as well as cook. He’s taking inspiration from ultra-luxurious restaurants like Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, but he emphasizes that it will be more about comfort than about “fine dining,” per se.
“The dialogue about the meal will be directly from the cooks,” Skenes tells the Scoop. “Nobody knows the bread better than the person who spent 12 hours making that bread and turning each one in the wood-burning oven.”
Update: Another quote from the Inside Scoop print column gives us some further ideas about the direction Skenes is taking. “We’ve done the casual thing. That’s how we started, but I’m over that. Saison 3.0 will be down to earth and full of comfort. We want people to come and have the greatest amount of comfort possible.”
More to come, we’re sure.