2019 Chef of the Year Melissa Palinkas is back with a new venue with a winning philosophy. Welcome to Ethos.
The newest venue from reigning Chef of the Year Melissa Palinkas and her life-slash-business partner Susan Whelan, this bustling, updated version of an old-school NYC Jewish deli already feels like an old friend.
On weekends, East Freo locals snake out the door for beef and potato knishes and a brunch menu of deli classics, including a grown-up Coney Island hot dog, a pastrami on rye that’s juicy and smoky in all the right places and a house-made bagel cradling thick folds of kingfish lox (worth every cent of the $27 buy-in). The atmosphere swings from deli-brisk during the day to moody-diner at night, but whichever way you play it, don’t miss the excellent charcuterie and smallgoods. We’re yet to introduce a Charcutier of the Year award, but Palinkas’ pâté en croûte – a slab of well-seasoned, porky pâté wrapped in a golden crust – is testament to why we probably should.
This bustling, updated version of an old-school NYC Jewish deli already feels like an old friend.
The evening menu, meanwhile, trades in comfort dishes that borrow from Palinkas’ German-Hungarian heritage. Sustainability is the force that gives the venue its name, and Ethos delivers: trimmings and offcuts, often from sister restaurant Young George, are upcycled into cocktails and soft drinks, and make their way into dishes, too. A velvety rabbit fricassée, for example, is all the better mopped up with bread dumplings made with leftover loaves and enriched with smoked speck. Main courses celebrate lesser-used seafood and secondary cuts, including a standout take on a classic Germanic rouladen made with fatty, tender tail-end brisket one day, oyster blade the next. A retro, double-crusted apple cake finishes things with a flourish.
Ethos is also a perfect place to linger over wine, with naturalists and small producers dominating a locals-only list. Drinking and eating with a conscience? It’s never looked so fun.