The former Quince locale has been transformed into Baker & Banker, a darkly elegant and only slightly cramped space, reports CarrieWas218, where the fresh, intelligently conceived fare is amplified by excellent wine pairings.
To start, spicy ahi tuna with Vietnamese slaw, crispy shallots, and peanuts has "just enough light creamy dressing on the bright fresh ahi to complement the crunchy goodness of the slaw and shallots," CarrieWas218 says. Rich house-smoked trout is matched with concentrated beet sauce and a marvelous celery-root latke. And then there's a simple, properly prepared torchon of foie gras that becomes fresh and exciting with its accompaniments of pickled rhubarb and watercress. "The tangy goodness made the foie that much creamier and also emphasized the exquisite nature of the kumquat tones in the wine [a 2007 Domaine Belliviere l'Effraie Chenin Blanc]."
Black pepper pappardelle is handkerchief-thin, served with braised short ribs, wild mushrooms, and a little truffle oil, plus English peas for a touch of spring freshness. But save room for dessert: The doughnut course could set off a serious addiction. A riff on PB&J, these are light, spongy cake doughnuts oozing house-made strawberry jam, with a creamy peanut butter dipping sauce. They're elegant yet comforting.
Baker & Banker [Pacific Heights]
1701 Octavia Street, San Francisco
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