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The Commissary: Foodies find a gathering place in the Presidio

Like the kitchen is the heart of a home, the opening of The Commissary has signaled the surge of culinary exploration to take up real estate in the Presidio. Chef Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniére along with the park’s own Presidio Trust and Bon Appétit Management Company bring San Francisco, Spanish-influenced Californian cuisine. Jardins is joined in the kitchen by trusted Jardiniére alumni now at Bon Appétit, Culinary Director Robbie Lewis and Executive Chef Reylon Agustin. While Jardins first made a name for herself in French Cuisine, her heritage links back to Mexico and the traditions passed down from her Grandmother in the kitchen.

Traci Des Jardins
Traci Des JardinsMoanalani Jeffrey Photography
Craig Middleton , Randolph Delehanty, Frank Dean
Craig Middleton , Randolph Delehanty, Frank DeanManali Sibthorpe for Moanalani Jeffrey Photography

The historical implications of the restaurant’s name reference the former mess hall built in the late 1800s, located on Montgomery Street Barracks as it was known at the time. Since revived, the atmosphere has retained its modesty with a communal and comfortable yet still elegant approach. Paying homage at every level the lighting fixtures and distressed tabletops are reclaimed from the ground’s former army gymnasium. Beyond the traditional dining area, casual seating can be found on the front porch, or “front row” as the spots surrounding the open kitchen are known. The food is in keeping with the San Francisco standard of sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients. Artisan goods can also be purchased to carry your memories home.

It has been a hot spot for foodies and trendsetters alike since we covered their preview party. One of my favorite sightings was Fendi’s West Coast Retail Vice President Janet Walzer and Music Producer husband Shane Hunt celebrating his recent record deal over dinner. Pair a day at the park with a welcoming meal at The Commissary or make a night of it. It’s a parks partnership come to life, with a restaurant as inviting as the shared open spaces are for everyone.

Check out the Hot Shots slideshow to see moments from the preview party.

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All the best – Moanalani Jeffrey