We first got word of Sandra and Nick Arnerich's plan to open Renata in January of 2014, and the French Laundry alums said their goal was to be open by summer. Now, a full year after that initial target opening date, it's finally going to happen. In fact, you can even mark your calendar, because Renata is opening its doors on June 1.
The epic construction process on the 10,000-square-foot building at SE Main and SE 7th is finally complete. Sandra Arnerich says right this very second they're putting the finishing touches on the 70-seat restaurant's decor, and will be ready for a friends and family event as early as this Saturday. It was giant undertaking, as the building is home to more than the restaurant. Ancient Heritage dairy moved into the corner spot back in January. Alma Chocolate is opening its second outpost next to it on the side facing SE 7th. There's also an outdoor patio and a small market and event space for classes or private dinners.
Chef Matthew Sigler, a veteran of top Italian kitchens in San Francisco (Quince, Flour + Water, and Salumeria) will focus the menu on Italian cuisine made with Pacific Northwest ingredients (including cheese from Ancient Heritage of course). Dishes will range across Italy as the seasons change, with southern inspired food offered during warmer months and northern classics when the weather cools. And the goal is to cook everything with live fire either in the wood-fired oven or grill.
As for drinks, expect an emphasis on local wines and craft beers, plus a custom cocktail program designed by Daniel Shoemaker and Sean Hoard of Teardrop and the Commissary. "They're focusing on the bar program for a full year," says Sandra. "The menu will change seasonally. We'll have a spring cocktail menu to open with, then in the summer they'll change it up."
Check out a sneak peek of the kitchen and exterior: