I had heard a lot of hype about this restaurant due in large part to it’s infamous owner. Since my parents were coming in town, I figured it was as good of time as any to try it out. Upon our arrival, we were seated promptly, even though we were a few minutes early, to our wonderful table upstairs. On a side note, my parents and I (who are HUGE food network fans) totally scoped out Tyler Florence who was standing in the kitchen overlooking the fabulous dishes being meticulously assembled in the kitchen. ALSO on a side note, my parents and I were discussing just how much it meant to have Tyler Florence present on a day-to-day basis in the kitchen of this amazing restaurant because it adds such a personal touch to the overall experience. There are many famous chefs/actors/singers/artists that own restaurants across the US, but it becomes so impersonal because it feels like just another piece of their multi-million dollar empire, whereas having the chef in the kitchen at all times, makes it feel like really in the end, he just cares about serving damn good food. and they do. I mean… this food is amazing. There wasn’t a dish that we tried that we were not oo-ing and aww-ing over. Even with the bone marrow appetizer… it was VERY different, but we wanted to try it because none of us had ever had it (and I had read on Yelp that it was good).
Anyways, we just felt that having the main man present to look over his kitchen really added a special element to this restaurant experience.
Okay… now for the food. WOW. It was amazing. I mean, everything down to the bread was phenomenal. They make these “pop-overs” that put every bread basket to shame. SO good. (I contemplated throwing one into my purse to save for later… but thought better of it.
For appetizers, we had the grilled calamari (which I thought was fantastic) as well as the bone marrow, which is worth trying if you’ve never had it. I think it was a pretty positive experience, especially with the balsamic reduction that is already placed on the toasted bread that adds a wonderful sweetness to the overall dish.
Moving on… the entrees that we chose were the New York Strip (medium rare), the Roasted Duck Breast (Blue Plate Special), the Burger and the Roasted Beets. Ohhhhhh…my…heavens. To start the Duck Breast was the best I’ve ever had… I can’t say that I am a duck connoisseur but this dish was amazing! The duck leg confit was cooked medium rare and served with duck sausage, a duck egg and figs. So good. I had the New York Strip (my first time ever ordering one) and it was so decadent and delicious, cooked medium rare (maybe a little more medium than I prefer) but still it had SUCH great flavor. Not to mention it was topped with mushrooms. Yum. My dad ordered the burger that came with THE most amazing fries. I didn’t try his burger but he was pretty happy with it, trying it out with the egg (which he’d never had before). Mmmm… I still dream of those fries. So good. The side order of beets were definitely a good choice. I LOVE roasted beets and these definitely did not disappoint.
Along with our meal we enjoyed a Pinot Gris recommended by the Sommelier who was very helpful.
To finish this amazing meal, we were sure to order the Frog Hollow Organic Peach Pie, which we noticed everyone around us ordering. Once again, it did not disappoint. We enjoyed this succulent pie with ice cream and french press decaf coffee (we were each given our own pot).
This place definitely lives up to the hype hands down. We didn’t get to meet Tyler Florence, but we enjoyed watching him bounce between tables talking with his customers/fans. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that loves great food, great wine and great ambiance (I never felt like the restaurant chatter grew too loud or that we needed to shout to hear each other). Make a reservation already .
558 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94111