Just finished dinner at this new spot in the Upper Haight (Haight between Cole and Shrader). Alembic is the sister restaurant of Magnolia on Haight and Masonic, and is sort of a gastro-pub with a "library of small-batch, artisan distilled spirits, domestic and imported craft beers, premium sakes, and unique, limited production wines library of small-batch, artisan distilled spirits, domestic and imported craft beers, premium sakes, and unique, limited production wines" (according to the opening announcement).
The menu features small plates and desserts. We started with a mushroom and white bean cassoulet and charred squid. The cassoulet was hearty and flavorful; the squid were incredibly fresh and tender. We continued on to goat cheese fritters and "sliders," Moroccan lamburgers. Both were excellent. Finally, we finished up with a delicious Bourbon bread pudding that was warm and airy- not dense or heavy as bread pudding can be.
The restaurant was packed and while the bar was noisy, we had no problem carrying on a conversation at our table (one of only ten or so located at the back of the restaurant). Service was friendly and knowledgeable. Prices are reasonable - entrees run about $10, wines by the glass $6 - $12 or so; there's also an extensive list of beers and spirits that we didn't have a chance to peruse. This restaurant is a great addition to the neighborhood, and we plan to be back often!
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