Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
One Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 543-6084
Cuisine: New American
Pluses: Warm, open atmosphere with fantastic food
Minuses: On-street parking can be difficult
Don't Miss: Sauteed Fresh Artisan Foie Gras; Wood Oven Roasted Double Cut Lamb Rack Chops with Truffled Ruby Crescent Potatoes; Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Caramel Corn Ice Cream
Prices: Expensive; Lunch entrees: $13.50-$17.50; Dinner entrees: $23.00-$33.00
Dress Code: Business casual; jacket & tie not required
Overview: Open for lunch Monday-Friday, dinner nightly.
On-street parking, area garages and valet parking ($10) at lunch and dinner at 1 Mission Street at Steuart
Reservations recommended & taken 6 weeks prior to the date; reservation lines open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
All major credit cards.
Two of the city's top talents joined together for this venture -- Nancy Oakes, formerly of L'Avenue, and Pat Kuleto, who has designed some of the city's best restaurants (most notably Postrio). Here Kuleto has created a room with three distinct areas: the bar, topped by a domed brick ceiling; the informal central section, with an open kitchen and a counter seating on replicas of antique Paris stools; and the dramatically lit, more formal dining area, replete with faux-aged walls and a view of the Bay. Located in the historic Audiffred Building in San Francisco's revitalized waterfront district, the restaurant features an industrial art noveau interior.
The menu changes often, but one lunch-time starter that always pleases is the antipasti plate with fresh mozzarella di Bufula, proscuitto, grilled eggplant, roasted peppers and assorted olives. At lunch homey dishes like the braised lamb shank with creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes are great comfort food; while the pan-roasted halibut is enhanced by the flavors of the South of France - sundried tomatoes, fennel and a sweet red pepper rouille and aged balsamic vinaigrette. For vegetarians there's always an interesting risotto; one good one is the pumpkin, sage and shaved chestnuts . At dinner entree prices rise but the quality is consistent. Favorites include the grilled veal T-bone with French black truffles, with potatoes and assorted vegetables; or the grilled lamb rack with a cannellini bean cassoulet with haricot verts, and shallots. Vegetarians will like the tomato fritters surrounded by a lovely selection of garden vegetables.
Desserts include simple choices like a silky vanilla creme brulee to a sinful rich chocolate cake with brandy-cherry-chestnut ice cream and chocolate sauce. Desserts range from $8.75 to $9.75. The wine list is a bit pricey but includes hard-to-find California vintages.