Entering HoratiusOpening in early 2009, this is an unusual space in that most people cannot make it out: “Is it a café? Is it an event space? Is it a restaurant? Is it a wine bar?” Well, it’s all of the above inside an old, long, barn-like structure across from the diploma factory California Culinary Academy (CCA) across the street.

There’s some sidewalk seating in front of the space with more of a café space just inside — with flat-panel TV screens overhead, Portuguese cookbooks for sale, and a bit of Ritual coffee on display.

In the back, past the wine bar at the side and near the food and pottery items, is a space that is used as a Portuguese restaurant at night with projection movies. Decent Portuguese fare is hard to come by in these parts despite over a century of immigrants around the Bay: it seems you either have to get it at Tia Maria’s (short for: a Portuguese relative’s home) or down in San Jose along Alum Rock Road. However, they do an OK job here. Even if the coffee isn’t more of a Portuguese style.

Entrance to Horatius Ritual Coffee Roaster coffee and other offerings at Horatius

Ritual not only roasts their coffee, but they even custom farm-source some of their custom blend coffee. When we visited, they were pulling single-origin espresso shots from Matalapa La Sidra, La Libertad, El Salvador from their three-group La Marzocco Linea. The resulting espresso has a good, sharp depth. While not as robust as what you might get directly from a Ritual Coffee Roasters café, it still has a bit of personality in the cup as a sharper, clearly Central American shot with more of a turpeny base. Served in wide ACF cups.

Back in their restaurant, they serve espresso and offer a coffee menu highlighting three different farms as French press coffees ($4 for a small pot, $8 for a large). Credit is due for taking their coffee seriously here: many of the best high-end restaurants in town don’t have a coffee service half as good in either thoughtfulness or execution.

Read the review of Horatius.

Space inside Horatius Demi Moore does 'Ghost' inside Horatius

The La Marzocco Linea inside Horatius The Horatius espresso