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A Q&A With San Francisco’s Black Cat Restaurant

The Black Cat has been a staple in San Francisco’s swanky nightlife scene for more than a century. The first Black Cat opened in 1906, but the name and concept have shuttered their doors and reopened a number of times. Keeping the legacy alive, Black Cat was recently reimagined and reopened as a restaurant in the burgeoning Tenderloin neighborhood. This new restaurant delivers an eclectic mix of shareable plates and entrees with carefully crafted ingredients from a variety of worldly influences. We tapped the team at Black Cat to get some insight into how they go about crafting their delicious and distinctive menu items, and wrapping them up perfectly for delivery.

Black Cat has a great back story — why did you decide to bring the Black Cat legacy back into the Tenderloin neighborhood?

The Tenderloin is the oldest arts and entertainment district in the city. From the turn of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, the area was filled with supper clubs, bars, lounges, and some of the hottest jazz venues in the entire planet. Now, we’re bringing Black Cat back to its roots right in the heart of the city!

How would you describe the style of Black Cat’s menu?

It’s a modern supper club with a focus on local products from trusted and familiar purveyors.
The menu changes seasonally and is dependent on the best ingredients we can source.

A timeless side of seasoned french fries from Black Cat

Say there’s a group of four who want to order from Black Cat — build out the best menu possible.

Lamb meatballs, beet-stained deviled eggs, seasonal chicken, flat iron steak, baby carrots with hummus, and two pavlovas to share. Next question.

Getting a cheese plate delivered is not too common. How do you guys make it work?

We have a lot of fun [containers and] components for our delivery, which makes it a little more interesting, but super convenient. We also use the best quality cheese so it travels really well.

There’s Duck Confit and then there’s your Duck Confit Hand Pie. What exactly is Hand Pie and where does this method come from?

The Hand Pie is a traditionally sweet, free form pie not made in a shell. We marinate our duck for 24 hours, cook it in fat for 4 hours, shred it and mix it with vegetables, orange zest, and fresh herbs. We then take this final delicious concoction and fill the puff pastry with it. The result, well you’re going to want to try it for yourself — trust us.

Kale Salad from Black Cat

Which dish would you say is the best dish to get delivered from Black Cat?

I’d say any salad, the hand pie, and the lamb meatballs. All delicious and travel really well.

Classics vs. new dishes — which are the best on your menu?

The stuffed artichoke, the saffron chicken, and the lamb meatballs take the prize.

Lamb Meatballs from Black Cat

What different cuisines and parts of the world does Black Cat draw inspiration from to craft the menu?

We’ve got influences from Morocco, Spain, and the Middle East throughout the menu.

Your menu boasts handmade gnocchi — what else is handmade and house made at Black Cat?

We make every pickle in house, all the desserts, every sauce, and our fries. Everything that we can possibly make from scratch we do ourselves.

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