The Trib’s Monica Eng files a first-bite (let it be noted: not a review) in The Stew today. The topic at hand? This season’s quick-change act: new American/organic/”farm-centric” Farmerie 58, which a scant two weeks ago was Republic, a pan-Asian restaurant with the same owners and management.
With the exception of the sushi bar (salmon farms…?), the menu overhaul from the Republic days is complete: Eng samples a deconstructed salade lyonnaise (quail eggs over frisee over pork belly), a barley salad involving bacon vinaigrette and melted brie cheese, truffle fries, short-rib tartine, and tofu steak over edamame succotash. Mouthwatering, right? Unfortunately it all came out cold — temperature-wise, that is. And the attentive, knowledgeable service couldn’t make up for the fact that, for a restaurant that calls itself “Farmerie,” there’s a notable absence of local farms ID’d on the menu.
Now our take on the matter: Farmerie 58 has been open barely a week, and various folks we’ve spoken to (and for what it’s worth, they’re the kinds of folks who would know) were nervous that the team involved would both meet their very ambitious October 1 opening date, and deliver a top-notch restaurant in one fell swoop. While management (and, um, publicity) has made it very clear that this is not a soft-open, we’re inclined to consider it one. Merely as a matter of handing over the benefit of the doubt.