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Restaurants & Bars

Gin Joint

Janet A. Zimmerman | Aug 4, 2002 12:42 PM

I'd been to this bar and restaurant a couple times two or three years ago when it first opened, but mostly for drinks. I don't remember much about the place from those times -- good bartenders, nice selection of gins, and some very good chiptole roasted potatoes we ordered once to snack on. Last week, though, we were in the neighborhood (it's on Harriet, between Bryant and Brannan) and thought we'd return. Along with our drinks, we ordered the potatoes, which were still listed, and mussels and Andouille sausage served with grilled bread. The potatoes were as good as I remembered -- crispy and spicy, served with a lime aioli. The mussels and sausage too were very good -- a spicy broth with tomato chunks was great with the slices of grilled bread, and the mussels were tender with not a speck of grit. The sausage was a very good complement to the mussels -- sort of gave a cajun flavor to the dish. While we were there, we saw a couple of dinners go by which looked and smelled wonderful, including a nice sized steak (which our bartender had recommended until we told him we weren't that hungry).

My only complaint this time was that the bartenders were a little inexperienced (one of them had to ask what was in a Negroni), but they still made pretty good drinks with good ingredients, and they were very nice guys. The prices were reasonable (around $10 for the mussels, about $5 for a big bowl of potatoes). I'd definitely return to try an entree.

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