When Catch first came to the Castro, for some reason I didn't like the looks of it. It reminded me on the surface of some bad restaurants in West Hollywood.
So I made a little game with myself, to see if I could last and never go there, and see if they would close before I did so.
Well, this last Saturday, we saw a show with a visiting friend who wanted to go out in the Castro later. Catch was just about the only place on opentable that could take a 10:30 reservation, so I figured what the heck, let's try it.
It was actually a pretty nice experience, and I will return.
Very friendly service, our waiter was a delight.
We all got oysters (some of us with commensurate martinits) and shared a couple of appetizers.
The oysters were fresh and delicious, properly separated from there shells without losing the brine.
Served with, cocktail-sauce-containing-horseradish-to-stir-in, lemon, and mingonette sauce.Bravo.
The martini was excellent.
We also shared an order of fried olives, which were totally fantastic. I don't know why I've never heard of this before. Along with this, an order of grilled artichoke (nice, not revelatory) and some duck potstickers (also nice, not revelatory).
For my main I tried their seafood stew in a tomato sauce/broth.
I have to say, I wish they'd thrown more seafood in there, it was a little lean in that department. Several clams and mussels, but only trace amounts of fish, and only a couple of shrimps, which were also smaller than I'd want in there. But the tomato stuff it was served in was totally fantastic, and the bowl was a good size. I ate every drop of that stuff, dipping some bread here and there, and in the end was quite satisfied.
So, much to my surprise, I'll definitely go back. It's not the greatest place in the world, but certainly a good later-night option (last order goes in at 11).
Note: I should say that a couple at the table have been there before, several times. They warned me that this was by far the best it had been, and I should not necessarily expect it to be consistent. I'll follow up when I return, but take that as a potential caveat.