Brentwood Country Mart used to be the place to go in its heyday. We spent many, many afternoons noshing at Marjan’s Deli, munching on Reddi Chick (still there) and happily shopping at its small vegetable and meat market. Celebrities and locals abounded with their children – happily sitting on the outside picnic benches or sitting around the glowing center fire pit. It was the farmer’s market and meeting place on the Westside. Then Marjan’s Deli left, a larger grocery store took over the smaller markets and finally with the arrival of City Bakery the ambiance was destroyed completely.
I am happy to report that The Country Mart is back! Jeffrey Cerciello who spent 10 years as the culinary director of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group’s casual dining division is the key “ingredient” to Farm Shop. “Chef Joshua Drew and pastry chef Brittney Turnquist are on board to do the menu, market offerings, and catering. Drew hails from upstate, specifically Bouchon and Ad Hoc, where he was the senior sous chef. Turnquist also comes from the Keller family, having worked with Drew at Bouchon. With Cerciello at the helm of this ship, it’s like a Keller restaurant cousin!”
Eventually, Farm Shop will feature a butcher, cured meats, larder, wine and cheese shop, fresh fruit stand, prepared food section and artesanal shops with gift items i.e kitchenwares, linens, tabletop wares.
The shops are not open as yet, but you can see the section planned in the rear of the picture.
The space is family friendly with a large communal table in the center, but it is also suitable for couples and those looking for very good food.
The kitchen is open with an intense, focused BOH staff.
For now Farm shop is open for breakfast and brunch. In the future there are plans to open for lunch – soon and finally dinner with an Ad-Hoc type of menu featuring family-style dinners with wine and beer. I have it on good authority that Farm Shop will be serving Ad Hoc’s famous fried chicken – worth a drive just for that.
With that kind of pedigree and given how close it is, we had to go on the second day that brunch was served. Given they have only been open a week, you would expect service to be haphazard and disjointed. Service was impeccable.
Michel Darmon is the restaurant director and we have known him for years. We also recognized a couple of staff members from Bouchon, Beverly Hills.
Pastry Basket with pear danish, marinated pomegranate, butter croissant ( you could be in Paris) and lemon poppy seed with seasonal home-made preserves and spring hill butter
“Steak and Eggs” – Pastrami, roasted mushrooms, green tomato ketchup, sunny-side eggs – portion size is huge and my husband took some of the pastrami home for a later snack.
served with rye toast
“Hangtown Fry” – Frittata with grilled Hobb’s bacon, fried oysters, pickled chilies – another very generous portion and unlike so many frittata’s not the least bit rubbery or overcooked
The take-out bakery is open
The key to Farm Shop is the the high-quality of the best ingredients, the excellent execution done by first class chefs, the friendly, knowledgeable service staff and an ambiance that will return the Country Mart to its glory days. My husband plans to go for breakfast next week – I can’t think of a higher recommendation.