Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ristobar ~ San Francisco

"Anybody can grow old, all they have to do is live long enough." ~ Groucho Marx

Place: Ristobar[1] ~ San Francisco
Location: 2300 Chestnut Street (on the corner of Scott Street)
Hours: open Saturday & Sunday at 10:00am (well, sometimes) for "Brunch"
Meal: Polenta e Uovo ~ Mulino Sobrino[2] polenta, two poached eggs, Taleggio[3] cheese fondue, truffle "caviar"; a side order of roasted potatoes; and a Bellini[4] made with Prosecco[5] and yellow peach purée 

(You know what they say, "Quando a Roma… fare come i veneziani fanno.")[6]

I finally made it to Ristobar ~ San Francisco for breakfast (well, "Brunch") this morning. I was glad to see that they were actually open and serving when I stopped in a little after 10:00am.

I sat outside in their sidewalk caffè area, where there are six tables for two and one table for six along the Scott Street side, and another five tables for two along the Chestnut Street sidewalk. I know what you are thinking: "So, big deal! You 'sat outside' in the end of May, Brian!". Well, this is actually a major thing in San Francisco for late May still. The morning fog had yet to burn off (As Oliver Hardy once said to his long-time friend Stan Laurel when visiting London for the first time: "Here’s another fine mist you've gotten us into!") and the outside temperature was probably only 55° Fahrenheit (which is about 13° Celsius for those of you from Europe following along here) and they actually had those overhead gas heater thingys on. (I made sure to sit as far away from those as possible. I mean, what is really the point of "sitting outside" if it is as warm and comfortable as inside? Any fool can do that. As it was, I was the only fool to sit outside the entire time I was there. I did keep my jacket on the whole time, though ~ I may be a fool, but I ain't no idiot.) This turned out to be a great spot for dog-watching (it's a well-known law that in the Marina District, if you own one or fewer rug-rats, you must also have a canine companion). I really didn't get a count on the inside seating, but, from a quick glance, there looked to be seating enough for fifty to sixty (wimpy-assed) people (that can't stand a little prima colazione al fresco).

Their "Brunch" menu isn't really that extensive, but they do offer several other nice ideas (for stupid vegetarians and meatetarians alike). I liked the sound (if a menu can make a sound, that is) of: Spinach Frittata (eggs, spinach, caramelized onions, goat cheese, roasted potatoes, bacon or sausage or salad; Eh, Giuseppe! Why a no "Frittata di Spinaci"?!); Deviled Eggs alla Rossi (mascarpone, grana padano, and crispy prosciutto di parma topped; which I would have ordered untopped, grazie!); Marina Bianca (egg whites scrambled, grilled bell peppers, zucchini, Feta cheese, turkey bacon, fruit); or perhaps a Pizza Verdure Grigliante (San Marzano D.O.P. tomato sauce, seasonal grilled vegetables, Mozzarella di Bufala D.O.P.; on top of which I would have had them "lay" an egg).

This was a nice dish. I particularly liked the Taleggio cheese fondue. Taleggio cheese has a strong, ripe odour similar to Gorgonzola, but the flavour is nowhere as strong (and I bet a nice Gorgonzola cream sauce would also be great with this dish, too). I am not sure how they made the "truffle caviar" stuff, but I assume it entailed some kinda newfangled molecular gastronomy trick (as one might see on the likes of food network). Of course, in Southern Italy, this dish would simply be called: "Eggs and cheesy greets and fungus".

I have no idea what kind of condimentary supplement selection that Ristobar offers; I really didn't bother to ask. I just used a few drops of my own El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® de Chile Habanero (Thanks, Brian!) on top of one of the poached eggs and some Toad Sweat Chocolate Orange Dessert Hot Sauce (Thanks, Sean!) generously on the potatoes. Hey, don't judge me! I know this says "Dessert Hot Sauce", but I misread it as "Desert Hot Sauce" and thought it just meant it was as "hot as the Sahara". (Nah, I knew all along what I was doing, but don't knock it until you try it! Besides, I hardly ever get a chance to use this slightly sweet-and-savoury hot sauce).

In Other Words… a Sad Update Interlude

I happened to walk past Judy's Café (where I had just eaten breakfast two weeks ago; see last 'blog-entry from May 17th, 2015) on my way to Ristobar this morning and saw some signs in the window that shocked and disappointed me. The place was completely empty (and I don't mean that they didn't have any customers, I mean the joint was entirely empty of everything ~ no kitchen, no chairs, no tables, and no customers). 

There was a handwritten notice that stated: 
Landlord told me end of the month move out ~ 34 yrs. I am gone. 
Thank you.

There was another printed notice in the window that read:
Please come inside to sign a petition to save Judy's Restaurant [sic; I am pretty sure that it is actually called Judy's Café] from closing on May 30th.
We've been open since 1978 [Wait… isn't 2015 minus 1978 ~ 37 years?!], and we'd love to continue to serve the community.
Thank you for your support!"

That kinda sucks. I always liked the food at Judy's Café and it was a nice back-up plan when needed (as can be seen in the previous 'blog-entry for that). I sure hope they can relocate to a nice spot (and maybe a little closer to me) in the future.

Additionally (and this is the even-more-shocking, Earth-shattering news ~ now I know how Helen Benson must have felt), I was told by a friend the other day that Dottie's True blue café (yes, THE Dottie's True blue café!) may either be sold or leased to a new owner. If they do end up closing/selling to new owners, I may have to find a new Starter for my Breakfastary Rotation.

Does anyone have $2,371,200.00 that you can loan me? I will gladly repay you Tuesday for it…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Polenta e Uovo ~ 6.4


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero uno:

Apparently, a "ristobar" is just some kinda Italian neighborhoody bistro/caffè/café.

2. Che cosa?!

3. (I just love that there is actually a "" web-site.)



6. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero due:

"Volare" simply means "flying" in Italian, and "Nel blu dipinto di blu" means "Kiss me quick, I'm double-parked!"

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