first of all, thanks so much to the people who responded to my post about local favorites in the lower haight area! i took your advice to heart and ate at RNM, which is a small plates restaurant in the lower haight. below is my review:
although we made our reservation for 8:45 pm, we showed up at 8:00 and were seated immediately. its a pretty small place, there is a downstairs seating area, which houses a well stocked bar and an open kitchen. there is also an upstairs eating area which seemed small and intimate, secluded from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.
clam chowder - absolutely delightful! very light, not at all thick like the condensed clam chowder one would find at the wharf. the cornmeal crusted oyster was like a very salty crouton.
arugula, fava beans, strawberry salad - fresh tasting! salad comes with ricotta cheese which goes well with the stawberry and arugula flavors.
i had the cod on artichoke puree with fennel and the blood orange beurre blanc sauce - and it was delicious. i really enjoyed the fennel in this dish.
my boyfriend has the rib eye steak and loved it. i don't eat beef so i can't really comment on this - but i did have some of his potatoes gratin where were pretty good.
**fiscalini macaroni and cheese**
this is the real reason i chose to eat here. fiscalini cheddar is my absolute favorite cheese (specifically the san joaquin gold) and i could not pass the opportunity to have it in macaroni and cheese!
it comes in a SUPER hot casserole dish as a side and it completely surpassed my expectations. the top was crunchy and the inside was smooth and creamy, each macaroni housing its fair share of buttery fiscalini goodness. SUPERB!
molten chocolate cake - be warned, if this is on the dessert menu and you know you want to get it, order it in advance as it takes 15 minutes to prepare. i'm a sucker for molten lava cake, and this one was no exception. definitely has a rich, almost bitter taste, which the vanilla bean ice cream nicely countered.
overall it was an extremely pleasant experience. there was a large party sitting next to us, and the maitre'd offered us another table which was EXTREMELY considerate. i know there have been bad reviews about the maitre'd on cityseach, but i believe they have since changed - he was excellent.
overall i recommend rnm highly, prices are a bit steep, but reasonable for the quality of food, service, and ambience.
if you do go, you MUST try the macaroni and cheese! it is truly to die for.