Though Schooner at Sunset just came under new management, the staff isn't keen on state-of-the-art updates. Instead, they're inspired by the days when everyone in the neighborhood knew everyone else, and friends frequented each other's front porches as well as local taverns. SAS is doing its best to bring back that vibe, starting with a quirky, nautical theme that turns visitors into regulars. There are surfboards hanging from the ceiling, sailing ropes strung up in the corners, and fish singing sea shanties in a tank by the hostess stand.
In contrast to the casual decor, however, the menu is delightfully sophisticated. Its elegant versions of comfort-food classics include the toadstool burger, topped with truffle oil and sauteed garlic, and tomato soup reimagined as an heirloom gazpacho. Even the melts have received an upgrade: they're built with the catch of the day, frisee, and grilled peppers. Both these meals and weekend brunch platters pair well with the bar's craft cocktails, ranging from the citrusy Aye Aye to the rummy Dark & Stormy.