Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
570 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107 Phone: (415) 543-0573
Cuisine: French bistro
Pluses: Very good food, moderate prices, warm and friendly atmosphere
Minuses: Tables a little close together
Don't Miss: Gerald's Potato and Goat Cheese Galette with Black Olives
Pork Tenderloin Confit with Onion and Apple Marmalade
Steamed Salmon with Braised Leeks and Fried Onions
Duck Leg Confit with Warm Green Lentil Salad
Biarritz Rocher au Chocolat
Prices: Moderate; appetizers $5.50- $11, dinner entrees $9-18
Open: lunch Monday-Friday, dinner Monday-Saturday
Overview: Reservations strongly recommended
Visa, MasterCard, American Express accepted
Ample street parking
If you are looking for a restaurant with hearty flavorful food, modest prices, and a warm and friendly atmosphere, Fringale may be just the ticket. Owner and chef Gerald Hirigoyen has created an authentic French bistro in an unlikely South of Market location, and it is deservedly one of San Francisco's most popular restaurants.
I really like the feel of Fringale. The restaurant is small and inviting, with off white walls and light wood wainscoting. During the day light floods the room from big windows overlooking Fourth Street, and dramatic flower arrangements add splashes of color. It's French, but with a California influence.
The food at Fringale is typical bistro fare, but prepared with a light touch. The duck dishes are always good, such as the appetizer platter with duck confit, foie gras, and smoked magret. Hirigoyen also has a deft hand with fish, and the pork tenderloin confit with onion and apple marmalade is so good, customers won't let him take it off the menu. Be sure to save room for dessert. Hirigoyen was trained as a pastry chef in France, and the crËme brulČe, clafoutis, and other sweets are delicious.
Service is professional and attentive, with that slight reserve that the French do so well. Prices are surprisingly low given the quality of the food. Wines are also moderately priced, with many bottles available for less than $25.
The restaurant has just twenty tables, and reservations are definitely recommended.