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Conduit Review (SF)

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laurenb Jan 9, 2008 03:08 PM

Conduit.....hmmmm.....how should I begin? I can still taste the tender squab I'm too distracted.....except for the pear tart, and the warmth from the fireplace. It was a great night.

I digress.
Conduit...what does it really mean? Sorry to say I didn't know until asking and it means pipes or something. That is certainly true of the restaurant. Thousands of pipes small and large streaming in opposing directions - up down left right. Shiny, dull, red, silver it showed a true consistent style. I loved it decor so much. The epitomy of trendy industrial in the way that I like. But the room still has a cozy feel to it. A fireplace keeps the room warm as does the black wood tables throughout. The kitchen is completely exposed and lines the rear of the restaurant so not only can you see your food cooking but they can see your expressions as you eat. The staff everywhere makes it feel friendly too.

The bar is on the side of the room with several seats there and some diners as well. There is also another bar style seating at the kitchen much like A16 but a little larger. Plus, my favorite stemware that made it very elegant. A good upgrade decision.

So that should give you a clear idea of the place, now the food. They really know their way around a California menu. It is a small menu but I didn't think it needed much more, I couldn't decide what to get. All the ingredients were appealing as well as the main protein. We had...drumm roll please.....

To start - Beet Salad with citrus vinigrette and shavel fennel which was softened and had less of a harsh bite (a technique that the waiter described). Scallop's - 2 beautiful large and seared to perfection. Nuff said.

Because their was so much to choose from we decided to split a mid course and then have one entree and one appetizer as an entree. The mid course was oxtail and marscapone suffed homemade ravioli in a carmelized onion/ reduced oxtail stock with gruyere cheese crisp on top. Beautiful presentation. The pasta was to die for, thick, al dente enough to still really taste the pasta and still have the taste of the meat inside. This was my favorite dish of the day as hard as it is to pick one. The "sauce" that is was on was hardly a sauce and more just what happends if you completely reduce down the oxtail stock into cippolini onions. (also known as heaven). The crisp added its pungent salty cheese flavor, but also a nice texture addition.

Then for the entree we had the squab (appetizer) and duck. Both were similar but different too. Each were cooked to perfection, rare but not too rare as someone else reviewed, and kept the best texture. The duck was in a richer sauce than the squab and rich parsnip puree with sauteed chestnuts and chantrell mushrooms. The squab was accompanied by a farrow risotto and trumpet mushrooms. Delish! cooked to perfection. Nuff said.

Dessert......thank you lord for having cheese on the menu! I had a large slice of outstanding basque sheep's milk hard cheese with quince paste. We also wen't for something sweet - the pear tart. I am not a dessert person and much more love my cheese but like Uncle Jesse would have said "have mercy". The tart was not flaky tasteless tart but a chewy dense hazelnut dough with pear slices a top. Creme Fraiche on the side fo hit the other taste buds.

This is shaping up to be too long a review but if I may just add that is is not too trendy or over trying. They impressed me and I am not easily impressed. Prices are not too high at all! My goodness, entrees around the low $20's and some great wines for $40, glass of prosecco to start just $6! They said the website should be up soon. Also have a fun private room for 14. Just go soon and thank me later.

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  1. pane RE: laurenb Jan 9, 2008 03:13 PM

    The location...

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    Conduit
    280 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

    1. rworange RE: laurenb Jan 9, 2008 06:50 PM

      Thanks for the report. Sounds delicious.

      Here's a little background info from the SF Chronicle
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

      A few pictures from various blogs
      http://sf.eater.com/archives/2007/12/...
      http://www.thrillist.com/archives/200...

      And a menu
      http://www.thrillist.com/send-image.h...

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