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Nov 1, 2009 05:57 PM

Bay Area Basque besides Piperade?

Just listened to an audiobook about the history of the Basque and there was much discussion of Basque food. Now I'm stoked to try gourmet Basque food (as opposed to the sheepherder food I've tried. And I still like, by the way).
Piperade I know about, although I haven't tried it yet. What are some other good Basque destinations in California?
Illuna Basque seems to get mixed reviews. Gitane looks promising, although it doesn't look like there's a lot of Basque on the menu.

1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

Gitane Restaurant & Bar
6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

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  1. I agree with your observation. I looked into Gitane's menu but looks like it's more Moroccan, Southern Iberia menu.

    Gitane Restaurant & Bar
    6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

    1. It's sister restaurant, Bocadillos.

      710 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Have not had a meal there, but friends have. Said the food was delicious, authentic and an incredible value. Having a girls reunion dinner approaching and hope to dine there,


        1. re: macadam

          Unless something has changed, it doesn't take reservations except for large private events. Depending on the size of your reunion, you might have a wait to get a table or wind up sharing the communal table.

      2. I know this is going to be truly crummy of me, but I found a Basque restaurant today and you will have to wait till my report.

        The thing is they have full blown Basque dinners once a month and while I have a reservation for myself, I'm trying to connect with a friend to see if he would like to join me. They book motths in advance because it is popular and selfishly I don't want to mention it until I get my reservation down. Not that my mention will cause a stampede but if even one couple decided to do this that would mean I'd ahve to wait another month and the thought of a Basque Christmas dinner has me really interested.

        I had a pretty big and supurb brunch today so when I stumpled across this place I wan't too hungry. However the soup of the day was sturgeon chowder. It was so good I booked the Basque dinner immediately.

        In all the discussions of Basque food I never remember seeing them metioned on Chowhound. Haven't searched yet though. Yelp has 13 reviews and it gets four stars.

        A few dishes that sounded interesting
        - Basque Lamb Chorizo ‘n Rice - Homemade from our family recipe sautéed with sweet peppers & sofrito
        - Basque Bodega Bay Lamb Shank Braised all day till it’s fall off the bone tender with tomatoes*onions, garlic & mushrooms
        - Brick Chicken Organic local ½bird stuffed with roasted garlic * basil under the skin broiled under a brick

        Just saw this on the site ...

        Create your own event! Private Basque dinner for groups of at least 12.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          Silence is usually the best way to keep a secret for a few hours. I know which place you're describing but I've not eaten there myself. Considered it principally Mexican, so will be interested in hearing what you've found there.

        2. Chalet Basque is a neighborhood white-tablecloth restaurant with a nice family feel to it. Just the place to take your mother-in-law. While the weather holds, you can eat outside.

          They're in San Rafael on North San Pedro just one mile east of the Marin Co. Civic Center.

          Chalet Basque
          405 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903

          1. You might want to try the Basque Cultural Center in So. SF. They have a restaurant that serves some of the most authentic Basque food. Reviews of the food are generally good, although the place is a community center banquet room. Go for the food and to meet real Basque people. It was featured on a Check Please Bay Area episode, so you could get more info there too.


            Basque Cultural Center
            599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

            3 Replies
            1. re: Shane Greenwood

              BCC is still in the boardinghouse style, a little more refined, but not far from what the OP describes as sheepherders'.

              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                I am not really an expert of authentic Basque, but I have dined at the Basque Cultural Center quite a few times. I think of it more as Americanized or California-Basque.

                I love this restaurant, the food is always good and it is a comfortable and friendly spot.

                The food is not always served family style, except for the soup, which arrives in a large tureen for the table and if several people order the daily special then it might arrive on a platter, otherwise each person's dishes are plated individually.

                Basque Cultural Center
                599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

                1. re: pamf

                  For the record, I like family style. That's not the issue.
                  It's the idea that I'm getting gourmet Basque food as opposed to feeding agricultural workers quickly and inexpensively.
                  And to repeat, I still like sheepherder food.