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Restaurant or bar? That seems to be the question posed about this newish eatery and popular watering hole from the Bacchus Management Group. I'd have to say that The Saratoga fills each slot capably from its two-stories worth of bar counters and limited seating.
In December I arrived a little early for the annual holiday cocktail date to stake out a prime spot at the downstairs bar. We had the corner at the far end of the room for a more intimate tête-à-tête. The Colleen Bawn for me, Hot Buttered Rum for him, from the holiday menu, both crafted well. I was so ready for that drink and surprised I only had one cocktail.
For bar bites, the fat and chewy Soft Pretzel with zippy green chili queso dip was good, but we liked the 'Toga Tots even more. These are housemade pillowy blocks that actually taste like potatoes rather than oil, with artfully applied spicy mayo, a bed of crunchy bits of chorizo, and wispy shavings of Fiscalini cheddar cheese.
At the time, I was intrigued by the Tuesday night promo of 19-hour smoked brisket and bourbon. But it seems that Chef Francisco has recently stepped down to return to Austin. Best to get in soon to try the 'Toga Tots before a new chef takes them off the menu.
1000 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA
Warm Holiday Cheer:
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