Chez Papa – San Francisco

Chez Papa StorefrontChez Papa
Neighborhood: Potrero Hill
1401 18th St
(between Connecticut St & Missouri St)
San Francisco, CA 94107

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

I’ve been a little lazy with posts recently, and I’ve been meaning to write one on Valentines Day. K and I don’t really celebrate this holiday big anymore, but we decided to try the very popular Chez Papa Bistrot for dinner Friday night.

The owners must make a killing on the restaurant. Chez Papa Bistrot is the sister restaurant to the original Chez Papa Resto in the old mint by SF Shopping Center and to Chez Maman which is only a couple storefronts down from Chez Papa Bistrot.

The scene:

The atmosphere is lively and intimate and the wait staff is the friendliest I’ve ever encountered at a French restaurant. The restaurant got really packed around 8:30pm, and the waiter never rushed us to clear our table for the next guests.

The food:

For 2 people, the bill came out to $100, but it was worth every penny.

Bread – To me, one of the most important things to judge a French restaurant on is the bread. Although not as good as ChouChou’s in Forest Hill, the bread was still above average bread. It was airy, soft, and chewy, and the olive oil/tapenade they served with it was amazing! If the bread had been warm and crusty, that would have been the icing on the cake.

Grilled artichokes stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in prosciutto & arugula salad – The baby-sized artichoke hearts were wrapped in a light dough and baked in the oven, halved and dabbed with a gorgonzola sauce. The cheese was so potent, you can tell it was a high quality gorgonzola.

Foie gras “au torchon” with kumkuat marmalade, shaved pistachio, vanilla gastrique and brioche – They served the foie gras as a pate that night and it was almost like eating pure butter (which is a good thing). We spread the pate on the brioche and topped it with the kumkuat marmalade and devoured the livery goodness. My heart cried for the little ducks, but my tastebuds were craving for more.

Sautéed petrale sole with leek fondue, dungeness crab and fines herbs, winter citrus – This was so good! The fish was lightly floured and browned and it sat on a bed of tender leeks and dungeness crab. The fondue sauce wasn’t as rich or over-powering as I thought it would be. The thin slice of grapefruit was unexpected and very complementing to the dish. It cut right through the creaminess of the dish.

Roasted pork tenderloin with braised red cabbage, parsnip puree and apple cider sauce – The pork was so tender, you barely had to chew to get it to swallow. The red cabbage was sauteed with pancetta and was topped with apple cider sauce.

Apple Tart Tatin w/creme fraiche – Really, one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. The apples were so tender, they melted in my mouth. The caramel, cinnamon, and apples really hit the spot for comfort food.

I think Chez Papa is my favorite restaurant of the moment. I’d love to come back soon to try other items off the menu.

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