We were seated at the communal table right next to where Chef Evan Rich was overseeing the kitchen. We opted for the Chef's Pick menu with the added beverage pairings, our own creative thinking was flagging from a bit of travel exhaustion. We feel we made a great choice, check out the pictures in the video clip.
As soon as we relinquished control over our dinner, the food and wine began to flow. We were immediately poured a glass of 2014 Broc Cellars Sparkling Cabernet Franc from Santa Barbara. This refreshing, slightly savory wine paired perfectly with the array of small bites to arrive first to the table. Standouts in the first onslaught of tastes were the raw oysters with watermelon mignonette, the sardine chip with horseradish and herbs, the spicy chicken liver mousse with nuts and the fried porcini doughnuts.
For the next course, we were each served a different wine and food pairing. I was poured a lovely 2014 Smith Story Pinot Noir Rosé from Rheingau Germany alongside a nectarine, golden beet and burrata salad while my husband received a glass of 2013 Stekar Malvasia with his heirloom tomato caesar salad topped with bacon and garlic croutons. We, of course, immediately shared tastes and both were delicious.
The different pairings for us continued with a glass of Sorelle Bronca Particella 68 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene for me, a creamy mineral-laced pear and citrus flavored sparkler paired with chanterelles, blistered grapes, popcorn and chives in a citrus, herb oil while my husband enjoyed king salmon with roe and roasted potatoes with a glass of 2013 Benoit Bourgogne Aligoté.
This course was followed by a glass of Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale from Off Color Brewing with an Asian-inspired ramen dish for me and 2010 Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica with tagliatelle, peppers and okra for him.
Next up, a pour of 2013 Marc Brédif Chinon with a grilled ribeye square on hummus for each of us. The small, geometric cut of beef was the perfect size after the multiple courses we had already so eagerly consumed. A spoonful of farmers cheese with fruit arrived for each of us next, a palate preparer for our final course.
Our meal diverged again when they brought our dessert. I was given a glass of 2014 De Forville Moscato d'Asti with an unusual mix of dried cherry and apricot, basil granita and brown butter ice cream while my husband was handed a stout beer with a chocolate concoction of brittle, meringue and mousse. Both unique and worthy of sharing. A final sweet bite topped with fresh raspberry and chocolate concluded our tasting
Chef Evan Rich came by the table at our meal's end to check on how we had enjoyed his picks, we truthfully told him that we had delighted in it all. If you are in San Francisco, I would highly recommend this restaurant, it is the perfect place to enjoy innovative, high quality, thoughtfully prepared cuisine in a casual setting. Make reservations or you may be waiting for a table.