“My starting point was friends and acquaintances,” says Morton, who developed his recipes through trial and error, seeking advice from contacts in his six years bartending at Beach Chalet, the old Broadway Street Enrico’s, Presidio Heights’ Spruce, and most recently the TenderNob’s Fly Bar. “I’d pick the brain of whatever chef I was working with.”
Jersey’s complex and time-intensive spicy chicken, for example, is brined in vinegar, then marinated in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, shallots, and garlic, which Morton then serves slathered in tangy chili pepper Sriracha aioli sauce.
Morton, 35, who grew up in the Manhattan suburb of Ramsey, New Jersey, poaches his meatballs in his own marinara sauce, and roasts the Angus beef and hormone-free turkey in the morning at Divisidero Street’s Solstice Restaurant.
The tiny Sixth Avenue storefront seemed a fit for both his small
convection oven and budget, without involving deep-pocketed partners.
“I saw the space available and it seemed affordable without getting a bunch of loans, just using personal savings to get a foot in the door,” said Morton, who has an SJSU Masters in Education.