Jeff Cerciello, Thomas Keller Group's culinary director of casual dining and once an apprentice at El Bulli, announces via press release that he will open his first restaurant, FarmShop, on July 15th in the Brentwood Country Mart. FarmShop will be split between a market that revels in California ingredients, cooking utensils, and products that also offers pre-prepared meals to-go, and, on the other side, a full restaurant serving breakfast and lunch upon opening, plus family-style menus for dinner, which will debut in fall with the market. So what is Cerciello planning to serve?
Expect artisan coffee and pastries in the morning and cheese courses at dinner, all supplied by the in-house market. We know Cerciello loves asparagus and eggs at Tavern and here he will serve soft-scrambled eggs with buttered asparagus and toasted levain for breakfast, alongside quiche of Lardons and melted leeks, bread pudding brioche french toast, custard and apples, and in-house baked goods like pecan sticky buns and lemon currant scones. Lunch will have a seasonal menu of salads and sandwiches, plus specials like smoked salmon rillettes and wild mushroom tarts, followed by house-made lemon sabayon tarts and macarons filled with ganache. Charcuterie with fresh pates and terrines from local vendors, as well as a larder and stock of boutique beers and wine, will also be found.
We feel some influence from Tavern in the larder here along with the the energy and excitement of a gifted chef breaking out on his own. Let's hope our growing excitement about Cerciello's FarmShop is met with the execution we're expecting from a man who helped open Bouchon. At the very least, it sounds like he'll have a bakery before that restaurant's Beverly Hills location does.
225 26th St. Santa Monica.
Earlier: Keller's Casual Dining Director Goes Solo [Grub Street]