Address: 339 Taylor St. b/t Ellis and O’Farrell, Downtown, SF
Phone Number: (415) 474-3474
Cuisine: New American
Date Last Visited: February 24, 2010
Dining Partner: Ate Di
Ahhhh, Fish & Farm. The restaurant that comfortably sat in the midst of a tough neighborhood - where tourists and citizens clash and meld at the same time. I am neither. I was born here, but am still a novice of my own home. I rarely ever venture to this area and there was no need for me to come to this street until the day I stepped into Fish & Farm. "The farm," headed by Chef Chad Newton, is a contemporary American restaurant focusing on artisan cooking - local, fresh, sustainable, and very importantly, skillful execution. Cooking is indeed a craft. That craft is perfected here are Fish & Farm.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the hostess and our server, Keith. They took our coats (who still does that these days?), and were seated at the booth right by the hostess’ podium. Keith was such a wonderful man. The way he spoke about the dishes was like poetry. We could have listened to him all day.
Artichoke Soup Shooter
The soup was HOT, it burned my esophagus because I drank it too fast. What can I say? It was good and I was excited, so I swallowed! Next time, I shall sip slowly and enjoy it. P.S. The pictures in this report were taken on Ate Di’s cell phone, so the quality is a bit lacking, but I didn’t want to use the flash on my point-and-shoot camera and spoil someone’s dining experience in the dimly-lit restaurant. You can see a “better” versions of the dishes on StarChef.com. Check it out. The dishes are truly beautiful.
with Tabasco Butter Sauce
Chef Newton brought these lovely pieces of fried goodness. I swear, I never sucked on a neck as long as I have sucked and gnawed on these. Go ahead, ask my ex-boyfriends. The crispy coating on the chicken necks was perfectly seasoned. Though necks don’t have huge chunks of meat on them, it was a lot of fun getting our fingers messy and nibbling on them. Thank you, Chef! Such a delicious surprise!
Pickled Grapes, Toasted Almonds, Good Olive Oil, Chives
Since the shooter we had earlier was so great, Ate Di ordered the cauliflower soup. I immediately thought of her when I saw this on the menu because cauliflower is one of favorite vegetables. Pickled grapes? Yes, such a unique flavor that went with the creamy soup. It was a savory soup, but cauliflower has a slight sweetness also and everything added to the top just added even more good flavors and textures.
Red Wine Braised Beefs, Roasted Cippolini,
Parmesan, Fresh Horseradish
My first course, well third by now, was a dish that Keith described so well. I just had to have it.
The sauce was deep. Seriously, however, like the last dish, everything was well-balanced. The gnocchi were light pillows which absorbed the sauce’s flavor. There was a bit of horseradish which lent a little spicy bite. Cipolinni, which look like little onions, have a bittersweet flavor to them which adds another dimension of flavor. Then the parmesan enhances the dish with some nutty tones. AND THE BEEF. So tender and robust. Ask Keith, the plate was CLEAN when it was picked up. We used out bread to sop up ALL the sauce. Wonderful.
We’re ladies, but we like our steaks. Even though there was a sauce beneath the meat, I always appreciate the inclusion of butter on top. I mean, why not? Perfectly seared exterior, flawless ring of cooked meat, and finally the glorious pink of the interior. All steaks should have three levels like that. ALL steaks. Lovely.
Honey, we weren’t going to be on any diet tonight. Chef Newton likes his comfort food and we like getting comforted. I mean, all women do, but eating this was like getting loved from the inside out. Mac n cheese is already good, but throw in some ham hock and you got Big O-worthy food. I love ham hock. Pigs rule.
Grilled Onions, White Cheddar, House Made Pickles, Secret Sauce, Farm Fresh Egg (optional), Acme Bun, French Fries
I came here especially for this thing since it was on the 7x7 Big Eat 100 List for 2010. It was also dubbed as “The Best Burger” in San Francisco. I mean, c’mon, everyone and their momma who owns a grill or flattop in the City serves hamburgers. I was ready to taste it to see what the hoopla was about. Well, before I even start describing my experience, can we just dwell on how much food there is on that plate? That amount of fries can feed four people. The burger could have fed four people. It was flippin’ huge. At least 4-5 inches - which is pretty impressive. The higher the cheeseburger…the bigger the…
MOUTH to eat it with, my dear. You need a Giada or Rachel-sized mouth to bite into this. I had to squish it down a bit, which led a cascade of golden egg yolk to drape over the meat and the cover the French fries. I also had to cut it into quarters just so that I can get a good grip of it. *first bite* Holy $#!+. I had juices running down my fingers, egg yolk covering my lips, and a mouth full of meat. I was a hot mess, but the burger was fantastic. Everything about it from the grilled onions - which gave some umami, to the melted cheese, and the perfectly cooked hamburger patty. There was still a little bit of pink in there, and I was not afraid of it. No burger should be cooked to well done. Ever. You lose all that wonderful juice which I spent a good amount of time licking off my fingers. Too good.
House Made Sweet Ricotta, Cara Cara Orange Marmalade, Butter Crumble
Dessert. I don’t even know why I ordered dessert. I was so full, but I wanted the full experience. I love cheesecake and I love oranges. It is so creative to serve it in a jar, don’t you think? I was tempted to ask Keith if I could take the jar to go because there was no way I could finish the whole thing there, but I got shy. The butter crumble on top was so good.
Salted Caramel, Peanut Brittle, Chocolate Ice Cream
Ate Di got this and it was gorgeous. I could only take one bite of it, but it was delicious. If you like peanut butter, you will love it.
My advice to you is to go to Fish & Farm, and you should go ASAP. Why? I just learned a couple of hours ago that Chef Newton will be leaving Fish & Farm on April 17. Today is the 7th, so you have 10 days left to see him in the kitchen before he departs. The menu won’t change terribly after he leaves, but it’s always nice to enjoy a menu that he created while he’s still there. He will be working on a BBQ venture, so I am looking forward to that! But like I said, make your reservations now and get ready for a fantastic and FILLING meal. Chef Newton came to the table as we were finishing up our meal and asked if the portions were okay. Um, yes! I had tons of leftovers to bring home - which I ate once I got home. I know, heffa-status. Our experience at Fish & Farm was lovely from the service, Keith’s melodic voice, Chef’s food, and ambiance.
Good luck with your endeavors, Chef!