Jul 14, 2010

Range Restaurant in San Francisco Mission District

My curiosity started building up when I read an article on a newspaper in San Francisco. The article on the SFWeekly mentioned of the great ability the pastry chef has on preparing strawberry desserts. Later, a small note at the Chronicle also described the delicious recipes of the restaurant, the great use of fresh, local produce and meats. 

Upon reading so many reviews, I commonly get two feelings: it builds up my expectations and makes me second-guess how good it really is (or if there is any great PR involved). But ultimately makes me want to try it for sure. (And that's an important point to make here: do try and have your own opinions for all the restaurants and things you read, including this page. Each person savours in an unique way; in your own way, that's the beauty of it.) 

Looking from the outside, you can not imagine that there is a dining room in the back. Before you reach the room, you can observe the kitchen window. The light is low and the level of noise is vibrant. The audience is diverse, dressed casual/dressy and service is friendly and adequate. The dining room ceiling could be higher and/or windows larger. Still, the intimate, noisier room provides an exciting atmosphere, while serving delicious food. 

Skipping the appetizer, we tried the california bass with corn chowder, pancetta, fingerling potatoes and chives and fava bean cassoulet with lentils, arugula, meyer lemon and pistachios. The bass was perfectly cooked and the combination of flavors were amazing. I was sort of skeptical of how corn, pancetta and fish would match. They do it beautifully: one can taste the freshness of the fish, slight sweetness of the corn, strength of pancetta and interestingly the chives too. But my greatest surprise was the cassoulet. The vegetables and leaves were so delicious and the flavors combined so well, strong, still in perfect harmony. The dish was hearty and vegetarian. I fully recommend it; specially if you enjoy vegetarian dishes and arugula.

For dessert, we had the bittersweet chocolate soufflé with raspberry ice cream. Although the expectations were there, the dessert reached all of them. While the soufflé is something quite common in French restaurants and seems to be simple to prepare (that's what I heard), I really enjoyed it! It was very light and balanced the sweetness of the ice cream. 

Overall, I enjoyed the restaurant, but I have to confess it was not as good as I expected. The dessert was indeed great. 

I am welcoming different opinions... Later, I also heard that they offer an amazing chicken and that's what they are famous for. I probably will come back to try that one and check it out.

Range's Info:

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