I don’t know if it’s the best deal, but it’s awfully good. A delicious four-course dinner prepared, served and explained by chefs who learned their crafts at Campton Place, Postrio and the Alembic Bar. The restaurant is highly exclusive—a single table that can accommodate up to eight people. It even uses white tablecloths, nice plates and real silverware. And if it rains, don’t worry: The tent will protect you.
Want a drink? The affiliated Derby Cocktail Company prepares craft cocktails and the “BrewTruc” (outfitted with twelve beer taps and a very knowledgeable, helpful staff) across the courtyard offers tastings, education on and glasses of a rotating selection of craft brews—plus its own in-bus seating.
Confused? The Outpost, by Stag Dining Group, is not your run-of-the-mill restaurant. When you come right down to it, it isn’t really a restaurant at all. It is back of a food tent at Friday night’s Off the Grid’s Fort Mason food truck market. This new extension to the perpetually popular food truck fair adds a weekly selection of pop-up restaurants, each of which have two servings (6:00 and 8:00) of $45 prix-fixe meals. The area, labeled “The Lounge” is set up in a small, relatively quiet courtyard in the midst of the trucks. Last week, it contained three restaurants (including Stag and a tempting Malaysian tent), the bar and the bus.
Partially because the concept is so new: partially because we went to the 6:00 seating (a time at which the truck and bar lines are much more manageable than later in the evening). Whatever the reason, the Lounge was virtually empty. Our tent had six diners. The other two were empty.
I promise you. It will not be empty for long. Our four-course meal consisted of:
- Smoked Mt. Lassen Salmon with pickled radish, romesco, sunflower granola and fennel;
- Sweetbread Agnolotti with sweet onion jus, Tokyo turnip, puffed barley and parsley;
- Pressed chicken with couscous, chorizo, favas and mussel escabeche; and
- Cardamon-Chamomile spongecake with sheep yogurt panna cotta, blood orange and almond brittle.
The food was wonderful (each of us at the table selected different courses as our personal favorites), the service attentive and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere fun.
And since The Lounge is in an oasis in the midst of dozens of food trucks and tents, you can get a drink, wander and sample other fare (in the event that you may be able to eat any more), listen the music and watch the crowds standing in long lines to get their food. And if you get lost among the trucks, tents and crowds, there is even a map to help you navigate.
Although we have always loved sampling the fare of all types of different vendors—Mexican, Peruvian, Vietnamese, Japanese and this week, Eastern European Jewish—we may now be tempted to skip the lines in favor of sit-down meals. At least, that is, until so many other people discover this new dining opportunity that we won’t be able to score the small number of seats.
But even if we miss out on some of these meals, we immediately signed up for Stag Dining’s other events. While we will unfortunately have to miss “Buckshot and Bordeaux”, we look forward to others, like October’s “Mission: Battleship” (on the ship Jeremiah O’Brien).