Although I normally write about my experiences in Paris and in particular Europe, I will occasionally write about my food experiences in the US as well. Taste is subjective, and this is my personal review of this restaurant.
1550 Church Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
$55 for dinner with wine
Comments: When you walk into the restaurant, it reminds you of a very, very large French bistro. The restaurant was spacious and has very tall ceilings. The restaurant’s Chef Constantino, is known for his no-nonsense use of parts of an animal normally thrown away (e.g., trotters). His meals are heavy on the meat and pasta, but strong on flavors. First we were given an array of breads with one of the most delicious tapenades I have ever tasted, albeit a bit salty.
Onto our main course. I had the Lamb, Lamb, Lamb. It was lamb served 3-different ways: lamb sausage, lamb shoulder, and a lamb cutlet. It was very good. The lamb shoulder reminded me of “pulled pork”, all-in-all it was a hit.
My companion had the grilled sweetbreads, faro, carrots nasturtium. This could’ve been a great dish if the sweetbreads would’ve had a little more taste. It was lacking a zing factor, maybe a spritz of citrus or some herbs tossed in last minute. It just didn’t have much flavor, but it was good.
And, finally we shared a dessert, berry & lemon verbena panzanella. I’ve had panzanella as a bread salad with basil, but not as a dessert so I was looking forward to it. It looked beautiful, but it was definitely a miss. It tasted like very dry croutons with a sprinkle of crème anglais on fruit. The texture was all wrong. It was very gritty.
The service is excellent, not hurried, and although it was noisy, it didn’t seem as noisy because of the tall ceilings. The wines were excellent. I’m a sucker for Rosato (Rosés), and they had a wonderful selection.
Overall it was a great experience. I would definitely go back and try the pasta dishes…
"The reluctant Francophile..."
My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.
It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!