Named for the brandy palate cleanser served between courses in Normandy, Trou Normand is the second act from Thad Vogler and the team behind SF’s Bar Agricole. Set into a corner of the Pac Bell building in SOMA, the bar echoes the building’s stately Art Deco aesthetic: high ceilings, leather banquettes and a long white marble bar, behind which bartenders serve up brandy cocktails like the Dempsey and the Corpse Reviver #1, harkening back to 1930s-era mixology. Trou Normand buys relatively young Calvados, Armagnac and Cognac directly from smaller producers, the barrels selected specifically to avoid boisé, the sugary, oak chip–infused brandies often added to enhance color and sweetness. As a result, the cocktails are more fruit-forward than you might expect, with fresh aromas of pressed apples, peaches and apricots. In the kitchen, Chef Salvatore Cracco focuses on whole animal butchery and charcuterie. The house-made salumi is a highlight—made from local Mangalitsa hogs, it has a soft, creamy texture that compliments the smoothness of the cocktails.
140 New Montgomery, San Francisco, California
This story appears in the print issue of October 2014.
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