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Inspired dining near Embarcadero?

What I meant was based on the menu Perbacco is the style of food I cook at home. Cooking pasta or risotto is not rocket science, nor is making sugo or ragu. However, if the food and dining experience is wonderful at Perbacco, then it is worth going. Since I have not eaten there, that is what I would like to know before spending my money.

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Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Mar 18, 2010
blktrfl in San Francisco Bay Area

Inspired dining near Embarcadero?

Hello,

I'm here in San Francisco on business and I'm staying near Embarcadero station. I'd love to get some recommendations of places to go for dinner nearby. I'm actually staying in the condo building that hosts RN74, but have read too many "uninspired" reviews to want to go. I've already been to Town Hall, which I thought was ok but not amazing, and Slanted Door, which I had an amazing clam dish at back in the fall, but in general I thought I was paying for the view and I can get better Vietnamese back in Philly where I live for half the price. Reviews of Perbacco seem favorable, though it's the kind of food I cook at home. There are no reservations available at Boulevard tonight, and One Market also gets mixed reviews. Is there something I'm missing? FWIW I went to Absinthe last night and had an enjoyable meal.

Thanks in advance...

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Town Hall Restaurant
342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

One Market Restaurant
1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

RN74
301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Mar 18, 2010
blktrfl in San Francisco Bay Area

Any recent visits to Blackfish?

Went to Blackfish last night. The place was packed at 7:30 on a Monday night. We arrived a few minutes early and our table was ready and waiting. There wasn't a host/hostess at the station to greet us, but our arrival was noticed and someone came to take our coats and seat us. I agree with another posting - this place is quite loud and, while not all the tables are on top of each other, we were basically sitting with our neighbors.

Our meal was paced quite well, if a little slow. The meal got off to a bit of a rocky start with the amuse: carrot gelee with peas and thyme. Just because you can turn carrots into carrot gelee, doesn't mean you should. This play on peas and carrots need not be attempted again!

Our firsts were the grilled romaine/beet salad and the agnolloti in brown butter/sage. The meat filling in the agnolloti had a pleasing intensity and the nutty butter sauce matched well, however I thought the salad presented a greater array of flavors, nicely balancing sweet, salty, and smoky in every bite. Our seconds were the roasted duck and the surf and turf, which seems to be a rather controversial dish on this thread. While each of the main ingredients was well prepared (the duck was a tender medium rare, scallops perfectly seared, I agree braised short rib was overpowering in a combination dish, it would have been better on its own plate), I believe Blackfish excels at side dishes. The sunchoke puree that came with duck and the parsnip puree with surf and turf were both incredibly smooth, creamy, and intensely flavored by their main ingredient. For dessert we shared the beignets, which seemed to be what everyone else was ordering. They were very hot, freshly fried, and basically a vehicle for the caramel and creme anglaise dipping sauces that came with them.

Overall we had an enjoyable experience. We decided it was the best mall food we've had so far. The bill came to $100 for two and we both left quite full. I don't know if we would make a point to dine again at Blackfish, but it's a good option after an afternoon of shopping on the way back to the city.

Apr 01, 2008
blktrfl in Pennsylvania