For the annual AIDS/Breast Cancer Emergency fundraiser (25% of the bill to the agency), I went to this calm Noe Valley oasis. I have been bemoaning the loss of the former restaurant in that space for years and wouldn't go in, but today somehow found the courage. My efforts were well rewarded. The space is transformed in a good way.
My companion and I had their cassoulet, and a special liver/bacon in a balsamic sauce. Now I have only had cassoulet a couple times so I am not an expert, but I have to say this was very good. The sausage was the weak part being way too salty, but the beans were perfectly cooked, whole but instantly melting into a creamy garlicy mass with every bite. It came with a large tender leg/thigh of duck confit and many whole roasted garlic cloves that were well mellowed and fragrant. The liver was cooked med-rare to our request and was butter soft with a good texture. The balsamic sauce was understated and a perfect complement. The plate had several strips of crispy bacon and a mound of rice. Portions were generous, service was friendly and efficient, perfect mid-day meal on a cool drizzly day. Entrees were around $18. each.
Le Zinc French Bistro
4063 24th Street/Castro