Since it’s pretty much winter outside, we could really go for cozy share plates and heart-warming sherry cocktails in this little nook of an upstairs bar.
At ABV’s Over Proof, the restaurant tucked back above the Mission bar, a new concept is now pouring: For next few months, owners Ryan Fitzgerald, Erik Reichborn-Kjennerud, and Todd Smith are taking us on a trip through Spain. Chef Collin Hilton’s new prix-fixe menu includes five or more dishes designed to pair with sherry- and gin-focused cocktails. Click through for a taste of what’s cooking.
Sneak up the ABV staircase and find yourself in the recently redecorated space, done up in warm golden hues to evoke the feeling and romance of Spain.
The bar is central to the dining experience here, with Este Oeste’s focus on sherry and gin informing the fare from the kitchen.
First course: traditional tapas of grilled bread with sardines and ham with tomato spread. Simple and lovely.
What’s “hand paella,” you might ask? Everyone knows the best part of paella is the crusty portion that gets baked along the edges of the pan. So, ABV chef Hilton has made a whole paella into a crust. Then, throw in a little bellota chorizo, mussels, clams, and a paella rice seasoned with paprika, garlic, and grilled lemon. Those salty morsels pair perfectly with the Señora Sol, made with the Leopold Brothers’ Summer Gin, Manzanilla sherry, and vermouth.
Next, a spin on gazpacho, but with very different ingredients: A blend of blistered peppers and melon, topped with chili pepper, a little olive oil, and sorrel powder revs up this refreshing summer soup. The accompanying Over Proof beverage, Señor Txotx, has a little more weight than the last, with apple-y Spanish sherry, gin, honey, and allspice, topped with a dry Spanish cider from Basque Country.
Find a familiar friend in ABV’s take on the gin and tonic. Este Oeste replaces the gin with rancio, an oxidized sherry similar to a low-proof wine, then mixes in tonic, fresh bay leaf, currants, and bay fruit zest for a blend that accentuates the bitterness.
Get excited for a plate that’s a combination of two traditional dishes found in Spain: octopus and patatas bravas! Glimmering salt-crusted potatoes are plated with perfectly grilled, tender octopus on a bed of gribiche, a Spanish and French sauce of mayonnaise, pickles, chopped egg, celery, and herbs.
Keep these flavors coming. Shrimp poached in brown butter complements a soft, rich housemade romesco sauce of almonds, hazelnuts, Jimmy Nardello peppers, and cilantro. The “Don Karlos” cocktail—a take on the Fogcutter—uses gin from Alameda and is named after Karl the Fog. The end result is a light, refreshing drink infused with lemon, orange juice, and orgeat.
For the finale at ABV, we have the Buena Vista. Don’t be mistaken—this is absolutely not an Irish coffee. This is Over Proof’s version of a root beer float sans the root beer. They carbonate absinthe in house, then combine it with Italian amaro sfumato, gin, and PX sherry for a flavor that does somehow resemble a uniquely sweet-but-bitter boozy root beer soda. And, yes, that’s a nice scoop of cream on top.
// 3174 16th St. (Mission); nightly seatings (6:30 and 9pm) are $75/person, reservations are required now through Oct. 27th, overproofsf.com