Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Aaron T

Frances [SF]

Recommended Posts

We got there at 5:30 last night and the place was almost empty. We sat at the bar and by the time the beignets came, the place was packed. When we left at 7:30, there were several people waiting outside.

 

We had:

 

Complimentary sparkling water served in a wine bottle, they ask whether you want sparkling or still when you sit down, very cool.

 

Market shot-- mix of fruit juices and what was described as an aged port. Not sweet, nice flavor (I stole a sip).

 

Bacon beignets-- see above, they are really all that and more.

 

Calamari and warm white bean salad, preserved lemon and olive-- succulent tender squid, how'd they do that? Great balance of flavors!

 

Dungeness crab salad, lettuce, kumquat, avocado vinaigrette-- nice chunks of crab and the sliced kumquats were perfect. Why don't I eat more of them?

 

Corn soup, red onion dill, creme fraiche "chantilly" (Bodega chevre, a very mild goat cheese, also with peas and corn kernals)-- silky smooth, rich yet light even with the butter than had to be in there. The onion and peas were a nice textural and flavor complement.

 

Toasted Firebrand challah, stracciatella cheese, radish, and herbs-- we didn't order it but the server left it with us anyway, saying it was on him then (more later). Tasted fine but wasn't anything special, wouldn't order it again, rather eat something else.

 

Chicken stuffed with green garlic, bacon, English peas, braised lettuce in a rich salty jus-- a sliced roll of chicken breast, very tender and juicy with browned but not crisp skin. The texture and flavor of the meat was remarkable.

 

Bittersweet chocolate pots de creme with roasted cherries and chocolate cookies-- very rich chocolate pudding, duh. Nothing special, but very tasty. The cookies were nice and buttery and gave a good crunch.

 

Almond and semolina crostata with peaches and creme fraiche, some sliced fresh nectarine-- The word that comes to mind is competent. It was very well executed, tasted fine, but didn't seem any better than what I could make at home. Not complaining at all, it was very good, but not as remarkable as the rest of the meal.

 

The food delivers on their promise of seasonal California cuisine. We had some minor service issues-- my friend ordered a glass of wine but we were given a carafe (18 oz for $18) which she chose to keep rather than send back when we told him I wasn't drinking; we were served the challah which we didn't order and which was still on the bill. He was very apologetic and took it off without any hesitation but still. . . . and we also ordered the smoked trout entree which never came and wasn't on the bill. It was crowded and noisy and my friend who ordered is very soft-spoken but we couldn't get his attention while we were eating the chicken. That actually worked out for us since we then ordered dessert that we probably wouldn't have been able to eat otherwise, but still. . . . If this place were closer and less expensive (more a reflection of my economic status than the restaurant's prices which aren't a steal but aren't obscene either), I'd be a regular. I'd go back tonight if I could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We had some minor service issues-- my friend ordered a glass of wine but we were given a carafe (18 oz for $18) which she chose to keep rather than send back when we told him I wasn't drinking; we were served the challah which we didn't order and which was still on the bill.

 

I don't think that was a SNAFU. I have read here in the NYTimes that they routinely serve entire carafes and then charge by how much is drunk out of it. Surprised they didn't explain that fact when delivering the wine...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, can they legally re-sell stuff that's been served but not consumed? Not making that clear was a gaffe then. I think we had the same waiter you did but he wasn't nearly as personable with us as he was with others. Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm, can they legally re-sell stuff that's been served but not consumed? Not making that clear was a gaffe then. I think we had the same waiter you did but he wasn't nearly as personable with us as he was with others. Oh well.
It's increasingly done. My husband wanted white, I red. We had actually ordered by the glass but that night we happened to be sitting at the bar next to the chef's father who put us onto the house wines which are presented in graduated carafes and you are charged only for what you drink. Our entire bar bill was $14, which I am sure is less than we drank. The house wine is a proprietary blend that is made for them to their specs, and not at all bad.

 

Our visit was some months ago, and the only disappointing things we had were the celebrated bacon beignets and polenta fries, but we aren't much for fried stuff. The rest was sublime. I am really happy to find another chef who understands and loves squiddy things. They were superb as was everything else we ordered.

 

We have a res for late July for a birthday, but I really think that this place is best enjoyed at the bar. We'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they do indeed re-serve the wine after it sits at a table for hours, blech! That's appalling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...