My wife and I (used to eating in Santa Fe, where we work) were in San Francisco this past weekend. A dear college friend took us to Chenery Park in his neighborhood (Glen Park). Madonna, this is the San Francisco I've heard so much about!
The space was lovely, elegant but comfortable. The service was perfect (I don't say this lightly). The owner was friendly and attentive. The food was astonishingly good - delightful, in fact. And the prices were so low (not that my friend would hear of us touching the tab) that I still find them hard to believe.
My wife and I started with the special salad with the fig dressing. My friend had a summer salad. (The salads were $8 each.) Yum!
I had the pork adobo with cabbage and rice ($15). The meat was perfect - wonderfully tender and the flavor of the sauce danced in my mouth. The cabbage was so perfectly crunchy and light . . . ah! I was full when I finished, but I want more as I type this days later.
My wife had the gumbo with catfish, scallops and shrimp ($16). I don't eat seafood now that I'm old enough to refuse it, but Gina was deadly serious when she described it at "the best gumbo I've ever eaten."
Our friend had the chicken breast with roasted peppers and mandarin orange sauce ($14). He eats at Chenery Park all the time (described it to us as his "neighborhood restaurant"), and didn't carry on about the dish to us, but he told the owner (who came over several times to ensure things were great) that it was delicious. We had great wine at a great price. We split a cafe au lait creme brulee for dessert. We sat talking until we noticed that everyone else in the restaurant had long since left, but no one rushed us out the door - on the contrary, they seemed eager to bring us anything else we'd want.
Santa Fe is generally acknowledged to have good restaurants (Albuquerque has them, too, but those aren't as well known). I can say with certainty that Chenery Park stands foursquare alongside Santacafe and Geronimo and the Compound for quality. But . . . not for price or attitude. Chenery Park is not a third as expensive or half as pretentious as these high desert eateries.
You SF folks have a real treasure there in Glen Park. I see from a search of the board that the folks who have already reviewed it agree. I'll be forever grateful to my friend for turning us on to Chenery Park. What a lovely evening!