Three weeks ago, Mark Gold discussed his background and approach for Eva Restaurant, “We want to create an environment of warmth and energy,” he said. “We envision family, friends, neighbors, and meeting new friends.” With that in mind, he invited friends both old and new to taste his tray-passed appetizers. Gold’s family was even on hand, including daughter Eva, who he named for his grandmother.
The walls are cream-colored with plenty of wood accents. Windows on the east and north sides of the building face covered patios and allow natural light to stream inside. Multiple skylights also help toward that end. You’ll find a small bar and an exhibition kitchen with windows on two sides.
Gold grabbed the keys only three weeks ago, but the space is already camera-ready. When I arrived, Gold was prepping the staff for live action. He said entrees will be priced from $14-19, unless he finds some special bluefin tuna or veal. In that case, he might charge $21. Appetizers will begin at $7 for soup and top out at $12 for summer truffle ravioli. He said every wine will be available by the glass and he’ll even have a reserve list where special bottles will only be marked up $50. Coffee service will be strictly pour-over, with orders caffeinating two people. He also explained his market-driven approach, saying, “We go to the fish market at 5 AM, go to the farmers market on Wednesday and Sunday, and we’re able to do it because we keep overhead low.” Earlier today, Gold shared a PRELIMINARY MENU WITHOUT PRICES OR DESSERTS.
To honor the occasion, Gold muddled Barhi dates in a molcajete with ginger liqueur. His bartender then shook a spoonful of the sweet and spicy paste with ice, gin and orange syrup before adding a splash of soda. Later on, Starr Rum reps showed up and contributed three triangular bottles, thinking it would improve the cocktail. Gold agreed with them that the rum complemented his concoction even better. Now he plans to add the seasonal cocktail to the opening menu. The only question that remains is what the drink will be called. First Date and Ginger Island are two possibilities. Any ideas?
Gold’s staff circulated with several successful appetizers, including veal croquettes coated in panko and dabbed with tarragon aioli.
Layered “cakes” of potato and Kalamata olive were another winner, topped with tomato compote.
Another bite: corn and burrata agnolotti topped with cracked black pepper and thin-shaved summer truffle, served in spoons with butter sauce.
Team Eva also dispensed chorizo-melon skewers and Yukon gold potato chip sandwiches filled with bacalao infused in olive oil with garlic and bay leaves.
There was only one sweet bite all night, but Gold’s kitchen crew made it count, plating lemon financiers with candied rosemary and drizzling on port reduction.
Gold said that the best case scenario would be to open Eva Restaurant to the public on September 8, but there are still a couple tasks he’s hoping to accomplish. For one, he intends to install a refrigerated glass box in the dining room to entice people to order the tasting menu by showcasing the menu’s raw materials. He also plans to develop the cheese program so he can fill his sleek-looking cheese cart. Finally, he needs to add signature signage, replacing Hatfield’s awning.
September 20, 2009 at 11:34 PM
i LOVE this restaurant! We had the best dinner tonight for their dinner party night! It was only $35 and we got seven courses. Everything was truly AMAZING!
The ambiance was great, so many different people and lots of families, very cool to see that! We really enjoyed ourselves and are excited to see what the chef will be serving up next Sunday!
September 10, 2009 at 12:30 AM
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
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September 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM
Yes, ate many times in the building when it housed Hatfield’s. Can’t wait to try the new Hatfield’s on Melrose as well as Mark’s cooking here.
Who would know this was a former chinese restaurant, and that across the street is the Liberace building?
September 2, 2009 at 1:38 AM
i wish the best for Gold, he’s a great guy and a more than competent chef. this location and concept should be very successful. can’t wait to try it, but it might have to be after i get back.