“I have always been deeply skeptical about all aspects of French cuisine,” begins SushiMonster. “So many other great places to eat without the unordered side dish of attitude, no? Well, brothers and sisters, I got over it tonight at Gamine. Oh boy did I ever get over.”
Things start out well with excellent thin fries with garlic aioli; delicious Prince Edward Island mussels in wine, garlic, and butter; and calamari with spicy aioli. Better than well. “Three home runs and we’re just getting warmed up.”
The basic burger with blue cheese, served on a baguette, is positively orgasmic. Beyond basic, options include fish or vegetarian burgers, four cheeses, bacon, and even a poached egg. Marinated lamb, heavy on the garlic and thyme, is just about perfect.
“There is no great secret to what these folks are doing right. It’s called a cow. There is cream. There is butter. There is a LOT of cream and butter in everything. Not rocket science. This stuff makes you feel good. Duh. Have another glass of wine. It’s excellent, too.”
If there’s any room left for dessert, the crème brûlée is top-notch.
The restaurant itself is small, about “the size of your average suburban living room,” and “loud as bombs.”
“Once you’re inside, you’re in very good hands and there’s nothing to do but roll up your sleeves, loosen your tie, tip back in your chair, drink a glass of beautiful wine and thank God you live in a city that could support a little restaurant that’s this good. Everything is going to work out just fine.”
Gamine [Cow Hollow]
2223 Union Street, San Francisco