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Restaurants & Bars 2

Home restaurant: still going strong and still good value

svl | Aug 2, 200201:32 PM

We (five of us) went to Home on Market and Church last night.

For those who don't know, this is the restaurant that used to be called John Frank. It wasn't doing so well with its somewhat-expensive prices, so it reinvented itself about a year ago with a new name, simpler cuisine and significantly lower prices. It's been packing 'em in ever since. As John Frank it used to do about 50 covers a day, I read somewhere. As Home, it's doing about 250!

Before going, I was somewhat concerned about the effect of popularity on food quality, not to mention the inevitable compromises due to lower prices. Well, nothing to worry about.

The clientele was (on a Thursday night) a young and energetic crowd. The din level was fairly high, but bearable. Reservations are probably a must, especially on a weekend, or else you might be waiting a couple of hours. Once seated (simply furnished tables, cloth napkins), the service was excellent. The young and enthusiastic waitstaff was very attentive and knowledgeable. Reasonably-priced and well-made cocktails. Fairly simple menu that uses high-quality ingredients (Niman Ranch meats, for example) with apps about $6-$7 (a very good ceviche was $10) and mains between $10 and $13. Level of quality and presentation was high. We didn't have deserts because we went elsewhere for that, so I can't comment on that. Wine list was quite good too, with mostly good California wines. As the food, the wines appeared to be selected on the basis of being good value. Prices for most wines were from about $24 to $30, with some above that and going to $40-$50. Good choices of wines by the glass. Corkage is $12.

They didn't rush us, even though the crowd of people by the bar waiting to be seated was three-deep.

Very good experience altogether. Professional and smooth. I wish there were more restaurants like this.

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