In case you haven’t heard, Maverick chef-owner Scott Youkilis and partner Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves) are opening a new casual Mission restaurant and cocktail bar in a week or two by the name of Hog & Rocks. The location at 19th and San Carlos (between Mission and Valencia), and the drink prices ($6 for down-home house drinks like a Tom Collins or Tequila Sunrise) are sure to draw the Mission faithful in droves.
Scott spoke to Grub Street about the concept for the restaurant, which was inspired by the pairing of ham and pork (hogs) with whiskey cocktails (rocks). Besides having an oyster and ham bar, the menu will feature anything bar food appropriate that strikes Scott’s fancy, including but not limited to fish and chips, burgers, and other updated comfort food. And as drinks guy Rubin told 7x7 last month, all seating will be on bar stools, whether you’re at the bar or not.
Also, some sidebar trivia for baseball fans: Scott’s brother, Kevin Youkilis, plays for the Boston Red Sox.
Who came up with the concept for Hog & Rocks? Explain the philosophy behind it
Scott Youkilis: Eric Rubin and I collaborated on the basic elements. He felt strongly about keeping it fun and casual, highlighting the best of American classics, and I ran with the idea. Oysters are loved by so many and there are no fun, laid back places to eat oysters in the Mission, so the concept of Hog & Rocks will fill a void.
What are some of the things you’ll be serving that best exemplify this philosophy?
Thinly sliced country ham was something that I thought would be perfect and a very unique compliment to the oyster selection. Digging deeper, both items have a strong sense of place, take a long to “make” and are true culinary gems. To wash everything down, Rubin wanted to bring back simple cocktails like whiskey sours, daiquiris, Tom Collins, etc. that most bartenders have stayed away from.
Do you have a favorite whiskey?
I’m a rye guy. Yeah, it’s kinda trendy these days, but I love the bite!
Will you be doing whiskey flights? Wine flights?
Hog & Rocks will (like most bars) sell more vodka than anything. Rum, tequila and gin will be used in most of our drinks and bourbon will be our most frequently poured whiskey. Bloody Mary flights have been discussed, and as far as wine, flights are not likely, but we will have it on tap. We’ll have beer and shot pairings, too. An ode to the industry standard post shift drink!
Who are the local chefs whom you most admire?
Cosentino, Patterson, Stoll, Sullivan, Phan, Tusk, Kinch, Syhabout, Reddington and many others. Also the guys who make tacos at Vallarta!
Do you have a great kitchen nightmare story to share, one that either turned out well and was saved or one that ended disastrously?
Saturday night, third turn picking up 15 halibuts, 6 chicken, 5 steaks and my sauté cook (with epilepsy) has a seizure. Literally. Crashes to the floor, I’m trying to hold him still so he doesn’t crack his head on the hot oven or the floor. An EMT came and took him away. My pantry cook and I plated everything and finished the night. Luckily, he was okay, just forgot to take his meds and eat. Everyday after that I made sure he ate a meal and took his meds. No more seizures, buddy!