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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Chef Reem Assil Swears by This Wine Bar’s Immaculate Vibes


When Reem’s California chef, Reem Assil, isn’t busy being a triple threat — chef, activist, and author of a hybrid memoir with recipes — she likes to frequent a nearby spot with lots of heart and a brief A list of goodies, like a bologna sandwich in a crispy cheese skirt and a glass of orange wine.

This place is for its partnerThe bar and restaurant are a few blocks from Assil’s own Mission restaurant, run by four bartenders with genuine laurel wreaths Rooted in the space that once housed Californios.

Chef Reem Assil and his friend Clay Williams spent a Saturday night at Buddy in the Mission. | Standard’s Jana Asenbrennerova.

There, shelves of indoor plants and natural wine bottles with cute labels provide the perfect backdrop for the stunning Curves bar. In the bathroom, an altar is dedicated to Sade, the demi-goddess of jazz.

“I like to eat in places that have atmosphere,” says Assil. “If I’m sitting next to someone I don’t know in a restaurant and we end up chatting like best friends, that’s a good place.”

In other words, the vibrations are flawless.

Inside Buddy, on 22nd Street, was once the Californianios building. | Standard’s Jana Asenbrennerova.

Buddy’s is the kind of lively, community-focused place that hosts a funky Bay Area food magazine launch party – that’s how I first discovered the restaurant in the summer, and that’s where I hang out with other Diners who have become friends.

Assil loves the sense of community and the simple, ingredient-driven menu.

“There are no bells and whistles, and there are not 20 items on the menu,” she said. “They like 10 things and do them really well, like their pickled watermelon rinds and their halibut.”

A glass of wine is poured over Buddy. | Standard’s Jana Asenbrennerova.

Since Buddy doesn’t have a liquor license, his staff got creative with alcohol. Their wine cocktails, like their Campari-less Campari sodas, are another reason Assil loves Buddy.

When co-owner Claire Sprouse heard this was Assil’s top recommendation, she was a little surprised, in a good way.

“We really enjoyed hosting him,” Sprouse said. “I mean, we’re right on the block, so we’re always pleasantly surprised when someone springs up at us.”

Buddy’s fried sausage. | Standard’s Jana Asenbrennerova.

how friends

Fried sausage sandwiches

Asir said Buddy was naturally likeable and “has a reputation that never disappoints”.

see also

mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms

Roasted trumpet mushrooms are a gem on Buddy’s select menu and one of Assil’s favourites. You might want to order the bread so you can soak up the leftover chili oil from the mushrooms – that would be great.

Buddy’s Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms. | Standard’s Jana Asenbrennerova.

old bard

A cocktail that combines a vanilla aperitif with cocoa, orange and chai tea. Here’s Michael Bublé’s rendition of “It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas” in a glass.

neither red nor white

Assil pairs a glass of Artemis Botanical orange wine with his bologna sammy.

No pressure, only resonance

Whether you’re planning a chilly, stuffy evening or want to ask your bar stool neighbors what they think menu Along with Anya Taylor-Joy, Buddy is the place to be.


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