Wayfare Tavern – San Francisco

Wayfare Tavern Storefront

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

You know how some people have a list of celebrities they’d like to meet? Well, I have a list and celebrity chef Tyler Florence is on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch him when I dined at Wayfare Tavern, but I did get to meet him here. When Wayfare Tavern first opened last year, the restaurant was the talk of the town. You’d have to make a reservation several weeks in advance to get a seat. Well, one year later and I still had to make a res a month in advance.

The decor of the restaurant is beautiful. It looks much like a tavern with rich wood tables and a stuffed deer head hanging over their bar, but it’s still very elegant with the dim lighting and personalized china.

Wayfare Tavern Bacon Wrapped Dates

Wayfare Tavern Poutine

Wayfare Tavern Popover

We started the meal with bacon-wrapped dates and poutine (a Canadian specialty of french fries, cheese, and gravy). The bacon-wrapped dates were excellent. The sweetness from the dates were countered with the salty bacon. The poutine was such greasy goodness. Thin shoestring fries were topped with… not gravy, but pot roast. K and I had to cut ourselves short before we got too full. One nice touch was the complimentary popovers they served to each guest. We soaked up the drippings from the poutine with the fluffy popovers. Boy, it was sinful.

Wayfare Tavern Fried Chicken

For my entree, I ordered the famed fried chicken. This takes your average fried chicken to a whole different level. Instead of plain ole buttermilk fried chicken, Tyler Florence marinates his chicken in a brine and seasons his batter with fresh thyme, rosemary and lemon. The chicken was perfectly crispy, juicy and aromatic. He took a southern comfort food and made it upscale with fresh herbs. I really liked this fried chicken, although if I had to choose between this or Ad Hoc’s fried chicken, I’ll go with the latter. I don’t think anyone can beat Thomas Keller’s masterpiece.

Wayfare Tavern Burger

K ordered the burger made of grass-fed beef, Mt. Tam cheese, roasted onion and crispy bacon all stuffed within a brioche roll. It took K a whole 10 seconds to figure out how to shove this 6 inch high burger into his mouth. Of course, he managed. This was probably the best burger we’ve ever had. So juicy and tender, the burger just fell apart in our mouths. The Mt. Tam cheese was so creamy and rich, offsetting the saltiness from the bacon. The caramelized onions were sweet which helped round out the flavors.

Wayfare Tavern Sticky Toffee Cake

For dessert, K and I shared the sticky toffee pudding with warm toffee sauce and ginger ice cream. Wow, this was the icing on the cake for us. There were little bits of dates in the cake making it so sticky, chewy and dense. The ginger ice cream was light and subtle which was a nice break from the heavy cake. But, oh so delicious.

Wayfare Tavern was an enjoyable experience. I’d definitely recommend it to couples for an occasion restaurant. If you’re lucky, you might catch glimpses of Tyler Florence while you’re there!

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