Rich Table, locating in the Hayes Valley, is a farm-to-table restaurant that showcases the culinary vision of Chefs Evan and Sarah Rich. Everything on the menu looked very appetizing. This style of restaurant has been a favorite of mine lately, because it is always an interesting dinner experience to see what the chefs got to surprise the diners. As much as I love to order the “chef’s pick”, I went with a friend who preferred a la carte. Nonetheless, it was definitely one of the restaurants that I am certain to go back whenever I visit San Francisco again.
The night started with the famous sardine chip, which was served with horseradish and crème fraîche. These are thin slices of potato ”stuffed” with a sardine and deep fried till crisp. I didn’t expect to see whole piece of sardine. The crème fraîche dip that accompanied it was light, with a mild horseradish taste, which didn’t overpower the flavour of the chips.
We ordered one dish from each category. For the appetizer, we opted for the burrata, strawberry gazpacho, and country ham. Burrata is a kind of fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.
The texture was definitely smoother than mozzarella. The taste of the strawberry was really subtile for the gazpacho, but the sweet/sour flavor was really good on its own too. The country ham was thinly sliced, which created a wholesome balance between the burrata and gazpacho.
Despite already had a pasta feast at Flour + Water the night before, I’ve heard that a pasta dish at Rich Table is a must too. The tagliatelle with ramp pesto, trout roe, and fried almond stood out the most to us. Ramps are wild leeks that are highly perishable, which has a garlic-like taste, but sweet like an onion too. The pesto was creamier than I expected. The tagliatelle were all well-coated with the sauce, and the doneness of the pasta was perfect for my taste. The trout roe and fried almond added a crunchy and sharp texture to the dish.
As for the main, we ordered the Alaskan halibut, which was served with lava bean, Japanese curry, umeboshi on the side. The flavor of this dish was very Japanese, especially with the umeboshi, Japanese salted plum. No doubt that the seafood at the west coast is fresher. The halibut was fork tender with crispy skin. The pairing with the Japanese curry was interesting, since it was the spicy type of Japanese curry with a bit of sweetness.
Lastly, we had the strawberry and rosé sabayon for dessert. It was served with oat sable, and green strawberry sorbet. Sabayon is a light, mousse-like Italian dessert that’s made by whisking eggs, sugar and white wine, but with rosé in this case, over gently boiling water until the eggs thicken but do not cooked. It was so light and fluffy. The texture is not as creamy as Greek yogurt, but denser than whipped cream. The tartness from the green strawberry sorbet cleared the palates after the meal. The entire dessert was definitely not too sweet.
I really regretted that I didn’t insist on ordering the chef’s pick, because they were really good! The waitress was friendly and attentive, as well as knowledgeable. She knows the menu really well, and was able to explain any questions that we had. The rustic, wooden decor created a laid back ambiance, where the diners can have a chill dinner with friends or family while enjoying exquisite food. I’ll definitely opt for the chef’s pick if I ever have a chance to visit again!
199 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA
Tel: +1 (415)355-9085 (Reservations recommended)