Where one eccentric restaurant falls, another rises in its place. So it is with Black Star Pirate BBQ, the cult hit on Point San Pablo Harbor surrounded by Burning Man sculptures, that’s shutting down Nov. 27 – with a planned musical funeral procession down the jetty, no less – to look for a new spot.
Rest assured its proprietors’ new endeavor is just as quirky: Baltic Kiss in Point Richmond, which opened in August, is a funky club/Southern restaurant in a historic speakeasy and brothel that, one patron recently swore, is 100 percent haunted. By whom is uncertain. Perhaps it’s Jack London, who reportedly puttered around the venue back when it was the Baltic Tavern. But it must be a fun-loving ghost, as that’s what the Kiss is all about.
Chef Tony Carracci and his partner, Miss Suzie, who some might remember handing out free beer to long lines at Black Star, have done the space up proper with reams of rainbow foil, Japanese lanterns and at least a dozen disco balls. It’s a party in the front, with bands playing rock, blues and zydeco, and business in the back “Voodoo Lounge,” where Carracci, whose family hails from New Orleans, serves comfort food like blackened redfish, chicken and waffles and pies… so many delicious pies.
The vibe: The pre-1906 earthquake building is paneled in dark wood reminiscent of a cigar shop or weathered schooner. An old wooden floor makes a great space for clopping and dancing during live shows. There’s a vintage-store vibe with tables paneled with racy postcards, and a bathroom best described as an explosion of flowers. The sound of hounds will lead you to a spacious outdoor deck with heat lamps to keep the deathly vapors at bay.
Miss Suzie, left, and her partner, owner and chef Tony Carracci stand on the stage at their Baltic Kiss restaurant and music venue in Point Richmond. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
The food: Any concerns that this might be a simple dive joint are dispelled by the professional kitchen hidden beyond the bar. Some Southern stalwarts might grumble over certain nonstandard things on the menu, like a proliferation of Caribbean flavors in rice and pasta dishes and veggies that lean toward al dente. But at its heart, the food’s satisfying, stick-to-the-bones goodness; any tweaks Carracci makes generally improve rather than detract from the standards.
Fried chicken consists of a buttermilk-marinated thigh pounded into a crunchy Frisbee …read more
Source:: The Mercury News