Drinks Before Dinner At Rich Table [San Francisco]
A quick note about two drink stops before dinner at Rich Table.
Muka, 370 Grove St, nice little spot. Comfortable and friendly people. Generous pours of wine, white was excellent, red very good.
Sugar Lounge, 377 Hayes St, Throw back to another era or maybe I'm just getting old :). Fun, good drink specials, chips, salsa, small buffet. Nice place.
We made it to Rich Table last night and for the most part enjoyed a creative and tasty dinner. A couple missteps but overall excellent.
The place is extremely busy, bordering on frenetic but once you are seated the noise mellows allowing for easy conversation. Service all evening was stellar, that includes food and wine service.
The "bites" and starters are some of the more interesting and flavorful parts of the meal so dining with a group (there were 4 of us) is the way to go.)
Toasted almonds with lichen, tasty, earthy, good flavor.
Pork Chicharrones, Douglas Fir, the ones that were properly fried were good but several were not and became tough and chewy.
Dried Porcini doughnuts, raclette, everyone really liked these, subtle but focused flavor. Very good, huge portion.
Sardine chips, horshradish, if these were crispy they would be terrific but tonight they were soggy.
Sugar snap peas, honey mustard, along with the brandade the two best of the bites. A beautiful mix of flavor, color and texture.
Brandade, pickled tomatillos, bay shrimp chips, yummy mix, almost addictive:
Three of the starters were excellent, Chamomile dressed watermelon, arugula, quinoa
Roasted beets, green olive, pine nut streusel.
Iberico de Bellota, wheat grass, potato and melon salad
The 4th, Burrata, cucumber, burnt strawberry vinaigrette was good but a bit bland.
The pasta entrees hit the mark, Garganelli, octopus bolognese, beets, scallions
Pappardelle, tomato braised oxtail, pickled eggplant
Richilini, braised chicken giblets, broccolini (for the table)
The buttermilk poached chicken, charred tomato, escarole was flavorful and well conceived.
The last entree, NY steak, green bean chimichurri, creme fraiche, fried shallots was enjoyed by two people while two thought it only so so.
Totally full but we ordered one dessert to pass around. Berry crostata, yogurt mousse, plum sorbet was a nice way to end the meal.
Wines were a crisp Arneis from Piedmont and a exotic tasting Gravner Ribolla.
A lot of energy and creativity at Rich Table, while not everything was perfect, overall an excellent dinner.
Sugar on Hayes/Gough has drink specials every night and snacks from 5-7pm. Ask them to tone down the sugar content (they are more than happy to modify anything to your taste0 on the drinks and you'll have an enjoyable cocktail.
Two Sisters on Hayes/Laguna has happy hour until 6pm and very tasty bar snacks.
My personal rec: Muka on Grove/Gough. Great drinks and AMAZING bar snacks. Jean-Luc just moved from Bush to Hayes Valley.