Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area

Duarte's Tavern (Pescadero) Report

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Duarte's Tavern (Pescadero) Report

mbaldauf | Apr 30, 2007 12:58 PM

Thanks all, for the tips on Duarte's.

We ended up there for dinner on Saturday. Following such a nice day, it was a mistake to arrive as late as we did - 8pm, seated at 8:30 - because by then, they were out of almost everything we wanted: steamed artichoke, both salmon preparations, olallieberry pie, blueberry pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, strawberry shortcake - the waitress mentioned that they had been slammed all day.

We ordered: artichoke/green chile soup combo; baked oysters with butter and garlic; mussels in white wine; and the only available local fish on the menu, the sablefish. At the outset, I was disappointed: I would have liked to see more local fish and more local vegetable offerings.

Highlights were absolutely the soup - great intensity of flavor - and the sourdough bread. Oysters were well-prepared and very fresh, but didn't wow me; the mussels were gargantuan yet low on flavor - I ended up sourcing out only the smallest ones.

The sablefish itself was excellent: pan-fried perfectly with classic tartar sauce and lemon, but it's accompaniments were a let-down: french fries redeemed only by the perfect aioli we requested for dipping, and strangely soggy out-of-season zucchini. I think they may have ran out of other vegetables, because we saw a better mix at other tables.

I'm sure if we had arrived earlier we would have had a more positive experience. I sense we missed out on the better dishes and recieved the ends of what was still available. I'd like to return when pickings aren't so slim.

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