Restaurants & Bars

A French Sunday in SF

Limster | Jun 3, 2002 01:31 AM

I first heard about Cafe de la Presse on this board. Also suggested by one of the French women at Boulange de Cole. Holly confirmed the good things about it last evening at Dasaprakash. So I strolled in there this afternoon and had a very pleasant Croque Monsieur. Somewhat puffy, with good cheese. Not a gastronomic wonder by any means, but it left me glad and satisfied all the same.

Cafe de la Presse has a carefree and cosmopolitan feel to it; that's certainly one of its primary charms. Newspapers and magazines from many parts of the European world, large posters with French magazine covers. It's like a little trip to an airy Parisian cafe, complete with a decent cafe au lait. Not a bad way to while away a bright afternoon.

Came dinnertime, I stepped into Chapeau!, probably for the very last time. I passed on the menu and left dinner with matching half glasses of wine to the chef. It's as lovely as every description on this board, and it's hard for me to add any more. Save the fact that the asparagus, fava bean and sauekraut salad was wonderful with a crisp sauvignon blanc and the seabass with a sweet and bright carrot sauce and pea rissotto was brilliant. As was a splendid stuffed chicken in Perigoux (sp?) sauce, rich in madeira and truffles (plenty of musky black chips on the dish). There's genius in the flakes of toasted almonds and lentils and super soft egglplant that completed the dish. Of course the matching pinot noir could hardly be better.

Finally, a classic profiterolles with a good bittersweet chocolate sauce for dessert. Such is the good life, ephermeral on the palate yet lasting and memorable.

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