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Restaurants & Bars

Bistro Annex, Valencia Street, SF

Frosty Melon | Apr 15, 200505:44 PM     2

Was planning on having dinner with a friend at Watercress last night, but decided to try the fairly new (February?) Bistro Annex a few doors down. Turns out the two are related, as the host from Watercress stopped into Bistro Annex several times throughout our stay to check in and chat with diners.

We started with a carafe of Merlot (no Sideways jokes please) at $14, good for three-four glasses I'd say. I started with the baby spinach salad with goat cheese ($5.50). There was no mention, but it came covered with black olives (I do not eat olives). It was easy enough to eat around them though, and the salad was so simple but so delicious. The mound of spinach was slightly warm and the goat cheese was perfectly sweet. A great beginning. My friend's starter was a charcuterie plate consisting of three slabs of pate ($6.50), two of which were deemed excellent and the other, just fine. The size of the appetizers was surprising; we definitely could have shared one.

For entrees, I had the cassoulet (the waiter mentioned before I ordered that it would leave you "floating out of the restaurant") ($10.95). It was my first cassoulet experience, and I've been curious since reading about it on the board. It was a nice, satisfying bean stew, with very tasty duck sausage and nicely braised pork. Serious comfort food. Unfortunately I have no reference point to compare it to other spots in the city. My friend's entree was the flank steak roulade ($12.95) as they were out of the seared scallops. It was very good, I was told, but after the size of the appetizer it was too much to finish. Came with a large heap of mashed potatoes, with some jus on top.

The table next to us ordered the gnocchi (comes with chicken or prawns) and looked terrific.

This place was a great value for the quality of food. Check was $54 before tip. The space is way tiny -- cozy, but it'd be hard to keep a conversation private. Still, we enjoyed it and would gladly return.

Link below to SF Station's review, which they have posted in the window.

Link: http://www.sfstation.com/article.php?...

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