Movin' On Up

Saison to Relocate Within the Year, Probably Downtown

The hearth and patio counter at Saison, at 17th and Folsom.
The hearth and patio counter at Saison, at 17th and Folsom. Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

We’ve been sitting on some big news from recently honored Best New Chef Joshua Skenes that he and partner Mark Bright were planning to pick up and move Saison out of the Mission, likely to the Financial District or Jackson Square area. They’ve yet to settle on a spot, and Skenes wasn’t immediately sure about making the info public, but now the cat’s out of the bag in his just-published online profile from Food & Wine. Skenes told Grub Street that the restaurant’s outgrown the space in back of the Stable Café where they began as a weekend-only pop-up restaurant two years ago. “This isn’t the right neighborhood for us anymore,” he said of their quiet block at Folsom and 17th. As for the cozy fireplace patio, he says that one of the conditions of the move is that they be able to rebuild the hearth and take the wood-burning oven with them.

He’s intent on recreating the clean, casual-yet-refined atmosphere they’ve worked hard to create in their current location, whatever that may take. “We want to pick up and move every piece of this,” he says.

As he tells Food & Wine, “We’re going to make the hearth three times bigger; the Molteni stove will be right next to hearth. We’ll have all these contraptions in the fire: things like a homemade metal ficelle (string) that we can thread through squabs for roasting. I plan on having a signed lease in six months.”

As for the fate of Dcantr, the short-lived wine bar they were operating, with its own à la carte menu, in the Stable Café, that remains unclear. Skenes and Bright decided to close Dcantr, we thought temporarily, back in February with plans to reopen it in the spring with a raw bar component. (As it turned out, running hot food from the fire station all the way at the back became a nuisance.) Now with the moving plans, he says he’s not too sure what will happen with that.

Remember that Skenes will be on the road next week to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and Jeremy Fox will be taking over the kitchen at Saison from June 14 to 18, along with chefs Kim Alter and Eli Kirshstein. Skenes’s full profile will appear in the July issue of Food & Wine, not yet on newsstands.

Best New Chefs 2011: Joshua Skenes [Food & Wine]
Earlier: Newly Crowned Best New Chef Josh Skenes ‘Had a Complete Blast’ in NYC
Dcantr Closed Temporarily, Becoming a Raw Bar
Saison Wine Guy and Sushi Groove Guy Partner on New Wine Bar Called Vinyl

Saison to Relocate Within the Year, Probably Downtown