“We feed the soul,” says Frederic Meschin, owner of The Little Door, a French Mediterranean oasis on Anapamu Street across from the County Courthouse. “It’s really important. Food is only an element.”
Open since early 2018, the restaurant recently started a Late Night Bites menu (also served for happy hour), which goes beyond French fries — although their “truffle frite” ($8) with grana padano and house-made harissa is not to be missed — and into items such as the quiche ($12), a dreamy amalgamation of potatoes, onions, and Gruyère piled into a buttery crust. It’s almost like a savory crème brûlée, perfectly brightened by a Little Gem salad with seasonal starlets like blood orange slivers and fresh beets. Chef Oscar Ledesma relies on the farmers’ market, explaining, “Ingredients do most of the work.”
Another example is the tartine ($8), a hearty slice of toasted sourdough piled high with a mountain of raw mushrooms, including chanterelles, hand-picked from the hills and lightly dressed in a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. An elegant purée duxelle of mushrooms cooked down with thyme, white wine, and a little bit of butter provides the perfect textural base and a dusting of parmesan at the top seals the deal. The Hope Ranch mussels ($14), or “moules,” are even offered endlessly on Tuesdays (with frites, of course) as part of a special.
Pair it with a delightfully crisp viognier ($9) or opt for a new cocktail, such as the Bourbon Sauvage ($13) with amaro camatti, blackberry shrub, lemon, and basil blossom. It ensures that you’ll leave with a little joie de vivre to your step.
Menus offered Tue.-Sat., 4:30-6pm and 9pm-close. 129 E. Anapamu St.; (805) 560-8002; thelittledoorsb.com