Heirloom has been on my list of San Francisco restaurants for a long time as several friends have been and loved it. But, for some reason or another, on all my recent trips, I ended up going to other places or eating at friend’s houses. One good thing about Heirloom is that it is delicious, and not one of those absurdly impossible to get a reservation places in San Francisco. And to be fair, much better than a lot of the overly hyped places that show up in every blog or magazine.
I went with my dear friend Danielle who used to work at Wynn in Vegas with me and was the director of wine. Often when we are together, I feel like my job is the least interesting possible….when people ask the two of us what we do, and she says wine business (she now has an awesome wine distribution business called http://www.maisonduprixwines.com/) , people immediately forget I exist and start bombarding her with loads of questions…..I can’t blame them. What do I drink, what do I buy, what pairs with what……etc. Amazing how they forget to ask about finance and stocks, shocking.
On this very subject, we stopped to grab a couple of bottles of La Tache 2011 she had purchased (we obviously were not drinking that) and the owner of the private cellar gave us a bottle of his own wine to sample at dinner, a Kutch Pinot from Sonoma coast (http://kutchwines.com/) which was perfect.
After 45 minutes of trying to park around Heirloom (expanding the radius further and further), we finally found a stop when we were about to give up. Tip: take a cab, or of course Uber (use it like a verb like true New Yorkers or people in SF, did you Uber here, should we Uber to dinner…) like everyone else and leave your car at home.
What we ate:
Danielle usually likes taking control of the food ordering, but I am a strong willed diner who also likes picking my food…. Luckily, we have very similar tastes and were very happy sharing loads of things.
Scallops with maitake mushrooms and ramps on cauliflower puree: perfectly seared scallops on top of creamy and rich cauliflower puree. The maitake was al-dente and added earthiness to the dish. Yum.
Burrata, asparagus and shallot vinaigrette on toast: a very generous portion of creamy, gooey, rich and delicious burrata, on top of toasted levain bread and lots of asparagus. The shallot vinaigrette was more like chunky roasted shallots, with a lovely sweetness. The textures of the dish were very nice with the soft burrata and the crunchy toast contrast.
Papardelle with lamb sugo, english peas, ramps and pecorino: this dish was unanimous when we saw on the menu and we knew it was a must order. This was a white ragu (no tomatoes) with very chuncky and tender braised lamb that must have fallen from the bone. The peas were green well cooked and the ramps added freshness to counterbalance the rich parmesan. Also, the papardelle was housemade – so california, in a very good way.
Bavette steak with Gigante beans, baby artichokes and breadcrumbs: none of us eat steak often but the table next to ours was having it and our neighbor seemed very happy with her dish (which we couldn’t help ask and she said we should order). It was delicious, the beef was well seared, with a nice crunchy crust but pink inside. We were very full from all the other courses but couldn’t help it and kept eating. This dish was on the set menu but they are very flexible and let you mix and match as you want.
Cookie with vanilla ice cream: I know I said I was full but as my grandmother used to say, there is a separate space in my body for dessert. I was once again a victim of food envy from our table neighbors. The dish on the menu didn’t mention ice cream but I had gotten the idea from the other table and copied them. The cookie was warm and soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside, like cookies should be! They had chocolate chips, oatmeal and other crunchy bits and was delicious. I am actually not a cookie person, but now that I live in London, I came to realize I miss a good soft gooey all-american cookie!
And our Kutch Pinot was the perfect wine for this rich meaty but also springy meal as it held up nicely with the heavier courses but didn’t weigh down the lighter dishes.
Heirloom Cafe http://heirloom-sf.com/
2500 folsom street san francisco ca 94110
+1415 821 2500