Archive for the 'Farm Shop- Brentwood' Category

Farm Shop – Brentwood

Lunch at Farm Shop is very pleasant with good service and food that is exceptional due to ingredient quality. Portion size is huge so a half sandwich at lunch and then a couple of hours later a half sandwich for dinner gives you 2 meals for the price of one.

Avocado Hummus – Schaner Farm avocado, pomegranate served with

Poppy seed and whole grain lavash

Steak Sandwich – Prime Snake River Farm’s tri-tip, marinated cucumbers, horseradish cream and fried potatoes

Pastrami – Spring Hill Cheddar, Braised  Kale and coleslaw on artisan rye bread

The market is now open.

Eggs bought from Farm Shop

Zoe’s bacon bought from Farm Shop

Tonight’s dinner – Scrambled eggs and bacon.

See here for the best scrambled egg recipe: Continue reading ‘Farm Shop – Brentwood’

FarmShop – Brentwood

Finally after months of delay, FarmShop will be open for dinner starting Sept 16th. We were invited to a pre-opening dinner for family and friends. Let me state up front that Chef Jeffrey Cerciello, former culinary director of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, did a terrific job. I have loved Jeffrey’s food at Ad Hoc so I knew I would love his food at FarmShop. Michel Darmon, GM has assembled a first-rate FOH team and the room glowed with lovely candles.

As you enter there is a wooden farm table filled with a luscious array of fresh berries, gorgeous fruit, just-picked tomatoes and home-made preserves.

Jeffrey Cerciello in front of what will be the larder where fresh eggs, hobb’s bacon, market-fresh produce, wine plus artisan wares from edibles to tabletop items will be for sale.  I can’t wait!

Michel Darmon, GM

The room

Another view of the room

The open kitchen

There is an extensive speciality cocktail list based on wine and beer. Our choices:

Margarita – tequilla flavored soju, lime-lemon juice, organic agave and lime salt

Kir Royal – Gruet rose sparking wine and cassis de dijon

The approach is much like Ad Hoc in that only one menu is offered (last night it was 3 courses) served family-style. FarmShop plans to post their nightly menu on line so you can know in advance what is served.

I do applaud them for adding this to the bottom of the menu: “Cellphones, tweeting and e-mailing have been proven harmful to other diner’s appetites, please refrain.” Hooray for FarmShop!


Heirloom Tomato Salad – Black Zebra and Green Zebra Tomatoes, Reed Avocado, Pickled Red Onion, Surrey Arugula, Opal Basil and Fennel Pollen served with

House-made Ricotta and Pistachio Salsa Verde

Rustic Bakery Flat Bread Chips with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

This was an absolutely sensational first course – farm-fresh tomatoes, exceptional avocado slices, an addictive ricotta spread on equally addictive chips

Red Wine


Herbed Fried Chicken (Jeffrey, as of now, plans on Sunday being fried chicken night. He also has thoughts of doing fried chicken 3 different ways). I dream of the Ad Hoc chicken from the very first time I tasted it in Yountville and then when it was a special at Bouchon in Beverly Hills – for the record they are doing the Ad Hoc chicken at Bouchon on Monday Sept 19th from 5:30 to 9:30. Do go and taste the best fried chicken in the country. If you miss Bouchon’s special you can now get Jeffrey’s fried chicken at least once a week at FarmShop. It was served with

Sweet corn and peppers

Cabbage, fennel, cucumber and poppy seed slaw

I was so hoping Jeffrey would do the fried chicken for family and friends and I wasn’t disappointed. It was just as good as in my dreams. The sweet corn was a perfect compliment as was the slaw. Let’s just say I was one very happy camper.


Poached Peaches – Frog Hollow Farm Peaches, Lemon Curd and Oatmeal Cookies  – what a perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

I urge everyone to go to FarmShop and enjoy the freshest of the freshest produce done with the utmost respect for the ingredients. What a treat for families, couples young and old and just anyone who loves good food.

Farm Shop – Brentwood

We have sampled brunch at Farm Shop, then breakfast so it seemed fitting that we try lunch.

This was early during the lunch service, but the room was beginning to fill up with a good vibe.

Open Kitchen

The back mural emphasizing the importance of  “farm” ingredients.

Chef Jeffrey Cerciello

The menu – this isn’t cheap, but portion size is more than generous and we noticed a number of tables sharing dishes. Also ingredient quality is extraordinary so you actually get what you are paying for.

Crispy artichokes, burrata cheese, winter squash and pepitas  – This dish was excellent.  What makes Jeffrey Cerciello’s food distinctive is that each component on the plate is very carefully defined to maximize the perfect flavor profile.  I would never imagine ordering squash this way, but with the burata, crispy artichokes, pepitas and even the greens,  the whole was greater than the parts.

Steak Sandwich and Fries – prime rib, fresh horseradish cream, arugula and wild mushrooms – The meat was perfect -as good as any major steak house could offer…perfectly rare prime rib that melted like butter in your mouth. The addition of fresh horseradish cream plus the wild mushrooms and excellent bread made this a real treat and not your ordinary steak sandwich. The fries were equally  outstanding and the home made catsup was fabulous. (For the record we noticed a number of tables ordering the fries as a side.)

The only complaint about the steak sandwich was that it was difficult to cut with a regular knife.  Michel Darmon, the GM, assured us that steak knives will be available tomorrow.

Fresh and Smoked Salmon Tartine, toasted rye bread, caper berries, pickled vegetables and butter lettuce – again the ingredient quality of the salmon was superb – don’t think supermarket overly salted lox or salmon that has seen better days. The salmon was as good as any you would find in a fine dining restaurant. Casual atmosphere does not equal a casual approach to execution or sourcing of ingredients.

Bread pudding, candied hazelnuts, pear and vanilla anglaise– delicious and a perfect seasonal dish.
The Farm Shop is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and we can’t wait to go for dinner.

Farm Shop – Brentwood

My husband waited 2 days before returning to Farm Shop for breakfast. This is from their regular breakfast menu and not the weekend brunch menu.

French Toast, Pear marmalade, raisins and Hobb’s bacon – My husband never orders French Toast but a friend who had had the Farm Shop French Toast insisted.   He was reluctant, but as she has a good palate, he went with her suggestion.  He was totally impressed. The bread was Challah and it was treated perfectly. In addition, the raisins, the pear marmalade, the pitcher of very high quality maple syrup were unexpected flavors, but the over-all effect was a wonderful blending of textures and a perfect “marriage” of flavors.

Hobb’s Bacon side – my husband loved the Hobb’s bacon and would love an on-line source to buy some. He is hoping that the Farm Shops retail store, when it opens, will sell it.

Close-up of the French Toast

The most striking thing about Farm Shop from his 2 meals there is the extremely high quality of ingredients. The resources of the chef are surprising and special. Plus the execution far surpasses an “ordinary” breakfast – obviously a well-trained chef is running the kitchen.

Farm Shop – Brentwood

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.