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1700 Mission Street at Duboce
San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 621-7122
Cuisine: American with Mediterranean accents
Pluses: Top notch ingredients, prepared with flair
Minuses: Noise from nearby streets and freeway
Don't Miss: Grilled pork chop on garlic mashed potatoes
Prices: Moderate; appetizers $4-$8, entrees $14-$16
Overview: Open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday
No credit cards
Beer and wine only
Going to dinner at Woodward's Garden is almost like going to a private dinner party. First, the restaurant is tiny, with room for just 32 of partners Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard's closest friends. The decor is simple but comfortable, and the serving staff makes you feel at home.
The real focus here is on the food. Since the restaurant is small, choices are limited -- perhaps a half dozen appetizers, another half dozen entrees, and three desserts -- but they all sound so appealing it's hard to choose. The dishes are made with the best quality meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables and sparkle with flavor. The menu changes weekly, but the grilled pork chop, about the best pork chop I can remember eating, is so popular it makes regular appearances. The wine list has just a few selections by the glass but a wide range of wines by the bottle.
The restaurant is on a fairly busy intersection under a freeway, and at times the traffic noise is a bit obtrusive. Once the food arrives, though, you'll forget the noise and remember the great food.