The Monty (1127 S St. Mary's) is back in the pop-up game (wait, did they ever stop?). This time with an Italian cuisine fix via Barbaro chef Mark Martinez, 26, who will head Little Fox on Sundays and Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m. starting Sunday, October 19.
Here's some of what eaters can expect on the menu, which will change frequently: chicken liver spiedini with cippolini marsala; balsamic and toast; linguine with clams, caramelized fennel corn, white wine and mint; pork belly with fregola, grapes, chicories, mulled wine and hazelnuts.
Chad Carey, part of the Empty Stomach restaurant group behind The Monterey, Barbaro, Hot Joy, et al, said the pop-up has been in the making for some time. They're hoping to provide fresh-made pasta bowls and other Italian snacks in the high single digits and mid-teen price range. This will be a chance for Martinez, who has been with Empty Stomachs for three years, to work on food he's passionate about.
Wino bonus: You'll no longer have to wait for vino, as table wine will be available for each party. Glasses of red wine will $4 a pop, and work on an honor system (tallied on paper tablecloths), and you'll be billed at the end of service.
"We want to have the idea of dinner be a get-together. You laugh out loud; you drink too much, have some fun and a bowl of pasta," Carey said, while likening the pop-up ot other updated regional Italian restaurants Little Fox is drawing from such as San Francisco's Flour + Water and SPQR, and New York City's Osteria Morini.
"We try to push our chefs to make food their interested in cooking, and the question always goes back to 'what do you want to eat? Are we cooking stuff we're excited about?'"