gastronome
hello, Last Supper Club!

The newest occupant of the old (and much beloved) Radio Valencia space has thrown open the bar and kitchen for business. I predict that The Last Supper Club will be much more sucessful than the mediocre Thai joint that preceeded it. The LSC opened on Monday night; we had dinner there on Tuesday. It's owned by the folks who run Luna Park; the menu is primarily Italian. We ate there again (at the bar, this time) with Andy on Thursday.

The Last Supper Club is located on Valencia at the corner of 23rd street in the Mission district. They serve until 10:30pm on weekdays, and 11:30 on weekends. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11:30am.

If you can imagine it, take the same spirit of twist on French food you see at Luna Park, and apply it to Italian food - you'll come out the other end with the menu at The Last Supper Club. There is a reasonable vareity of dishes that are priced well for the neighborhood - not taqueria-cheap, but not Foriegn Cinema-expensive. Apps run from 5 to 9 dollars, and pastas and entrees from 8 to 16 or so. Desserts are all $6.

Cocktails are great - and having a full bar is an added bonus for the Borogove family, as Russell drinks no wine and little beer, but plenty of whisky. They serve a Harry's Bar Bellini (fun - a drink i love to make), and leverage the white peach puree to make a white peach cosmo. I tried the peach cosmo on the first visit - not too sweet, and not too tart. A good mix - i can imagine it as a lovely dessert on a hot summer evening. Russell's Manhattan was good; my sidecars were excellent. One of the bartenders "takes [his] sidecars very seriously", and it showed. I let him mix me a second one with Hennessy, after discussing the relative merits of several brandies. They do a lemon drop with limoncello that piques my curiosity. I will report back.

On the appetizer front, we tried the truffled cheese fondue - it was divine, if a bit too truffley for Russell at the beginning. (That's ok with me; i get the first few extra-truffley bites, and am actually doing him a favor!) They use the same cute ramekin-tealight contraptions that Luna Park uses, and the make the same sort of tasty grilled bread chunks; the truffle comes from a healthy dose of truffle oil floated atop the hot cheese. We loved this enough that we ate it a second time when we were there with Andy. This and a salad would be a great meal, in my book.

The carpaccio is pretty standard - it needed salt, but salt is always close at hand in a handy pinch bowl. When we were with Andy, we also tried the wild mushroom, roasted tomato, and chicken liver bruschetta. A lovely surprise; it was three long toasts - one with the mushrooms, one with the roasted tomatoes (and a goat cheese, i think), and a third with a thin, thin slice of chicken liver pate over the top. Each was sensual in its own right, and together they will make a good late-spring supper with a cup of soup or some salad.

Portions are hearty; on our first outing Russell and i split the gnocchi with venison bolognese, and on the second Andy, R & i split two entrees (the chicken-under a brick & the hazelnut ravioli with guinea fowl). There was more than enough food on both outings.

The gnocchi dish was great - the gnocchi were huge, and had a pleasant texture. The sauce was more like a ragout than a bolognese - and it was delicious. Plenty of big melting chunks of venison to lap up. The chicken was well-executed (Russell really liked it, and he doesn't often enjoy roasted chicken dishes past the first few bites.) The ravioli were decadent, filled with a puree that seemed half mascarpone, half hazelnut; they were sweet and rich and contrasted perfectly by the earthy shredded guinea fowl on top.

We only tried dessert on our first outing - an excellent affogato that was HUGE. It had two scoops of espresso gelato, and one of chocolate gelato; the espresso was pre-chilled.

The restaurant is a little more out-of-the-way than Luna Park; i'm hoping it doesn't get terminally hip and crowded every night of the week. Selfishly, albeit - i think i'd love for this to become my new neighborhood haunt.

Posted by shock on January 26, 2003 | TrackBack
Comments

So after trying out The Last Super Club I have to chime in here...

Take a big PASS on this place if you're lactose intolerant, or vegan. Unless you want to stick to a few salad selections and sides, there are NO main courses available for someone on a dairy restricted diet, or veggie-only. The staff was great, the space was oddly set up but comfy. The food was... just OK.

I had a nice green salad and the tuna tartare app - both passable, but like the Luna Park version of the tartare, although the presentation was nice (read: tall!) I was sort of underwhelmed at the overall flavor of the dish. No subtleties to speak to, no strong notes - it was what it was, and like the chips the Luna Park tuna is served with, the potato chips with this dish started out tasty but ended up being all about grease. (In fact, much like my trip to Luna Park, I caught myself throughout the meal thinking that Super Club would probably be a great place to go to have some drinks and share a couple appetizers - on the way to another restaurant for dinner.)

Tad gamely tackled the baked ziti - the only pasta that looked remotely digestable to him - and declared it 'great'... Although 10 minutes later he admittedly looked a little green from the cheese overload.

We weren't very hungry to start with and were pretty underwhelmed with the food offerings, but perusing the dessert menu yielded a strong desire to come back for dessert . There appeared to be a lot of nice selections, but again, aside from a couple noteables we could stomach it was pretty much a wall-to-wall dairy-fest. Realistically, yes it's an Italian influenced restaurant: the dairy-rich fare is to be expected. Maybe it's the neighborhood, maybe it's the city, maybe it's a California thing; maybe we've been spoiled by restaurants around us catering a little better to veggie folks with more than just offering side dishes or salads. Maybe The Last Super Cub will mature and add a couple more selections to the menu in the future? Until then I think we'll take a pass on this place... unless someone is up for dessert? : ) BYO Lactaid.

Posted by: Beca on January 28, 2003 11:34 PM
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