Lunch at the Preservery on Blake Steet is a relaxed and tranquil affair, with tables taken up by solo diners on laptops, small groups in business meetings who have eschewed the three-martini lunch in favor of something a little more modern, and neighborhood regulars strolling in from the surrounding condos. The airy, open space encompasses a bar, dining room and market stocked with deli goods and gleaming jars of sauces, spreads and — as the name suggests — preserves.
The market theme continues through the lunchtime menu, with housemade ricotta adding creamy texture to a grilled-cheese sandwich, preserved-lemon spread adding a citrus note to a hummus sandwich, and the kitchen's own nut butter and jelly packing a flavorful take on a PB&J.
As you step up to the cashier to place your order, glass-dome displays of cookies tempt with their sweet, golden-brown contents. At first glance, the chocolate chip cookies don't look like anything out of the ordinary, but if you see some sprinkled with sesame seeds, go ahead and add a couple to your order. There's sesame tahini mixed into the batter, giving these cookies an added dimension of nuttiness and a moist center. A slight bitterness from the tahini emerges at the end, mingling with the bittersweet flavors of the chocolate chips.
The perfect chocolate chip cookie is about the texture as much as the flavor; these boast a crusty outer layer yielding to a tender interior and a generous dose of melty chocolate. The tahini adds just enough complexity to bring a childhood favorite into more mature territory in which sugary sweetness isn't the only attraction.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at the Way Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6
No. 75: The Croque Monsieur at Fire