The food itself reminds me of Bacar with top grade ingredients, nice presentation and creative ideas. However, like Bacar, too much goes on in each plate with the different components not complementing each other. Some of the fusion tried too hard.
Chicken mole on top of cheese risotto with truffled refried beans, what was I thinking when I ordered it.
The woman at the table next to me was a regular and had brought a party for a pre theater dinner. She just raved about some of the dishes. She thought the polenta was super. Perhaps I chose wrong. The link at the bottom has a post from someone else who really liked this place.
The food was pleasant but it just didnt wow me. Id eat there again if I happened to find myself on that particular block which is unlikly.
The food seemed more Latin/Italian rather than Franco-Latino which they advertise They did have some dinner crepes. At breakfast there was Grand Marnier brioche French toast.
There is a brief two page menu with small plates, medium plates and big plates. In addition there was a three course tasting menu for $30. For an additional $15 it was matched to half glasses of wine. The chef worked at the vegetarian restaurant Valentines and there are a few options for vegetarians on the menu. The current breakfast and dinner menu is at the bottom of this post.
The Argentine Empanada filled with spiced beef, potatoes and egg was topped with a red and yellow salsa. The plate was decorated with dabs of pesto sauce and chipotle sauce. The salsa was flavorless and a little mushy. The empanada was just ok, but nothing about that small bite was worth $7.
When they said big plates, they mean BIG plates. There were two HUGE Rocky Junior Chicken breasts on top of a large cheesy risotto cake. Each was fine, but while the flavors didnt clash, they didnt make any special magic as a duo.
More of that flavorless salsa topped the flavorless mole. It wasnt unpleasant, just lacking any spice or chocolate taste. It did have a richness from the chicken pan juices. I cant taste truffles, so any special flavor to the beans was lost to me. The beans had the same consistency as the mole.
The banana and walnut empanadas with a cajeta-rum sauce and French vanilla gelato were pleasant. The garnish of fresh strawberry slices and dabs of peach sauce and raspberry sauce was like eating a totally separate dessert. The sauces were very good and intensely fruit flavored,
In the link below, the poster describes the restaurant as romantic, but to me it was more of a stylish café. Just off the lobby of the hotel, it is like a small private reading room. The theme is books and literature. The menu is like a small booklet, the type of which are given out at graduations. It has a table of contents and is sprinkled with quotes about food from writers like Aristophanes, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemmingway and Mark Twain. The check is presented like a bookmark in a used book. My book had English Poems.
The lights are low and the walls are an almost black chocolate brown and muted mustard. The room is lightened by the large windows facing Sutter Street. There are red bistro chairs with black cushions. The tiny room has seven tables for two and a long banquette with an addition six tables for two.
The waiter was outstanding and with the assistance of the hostess managed to efficiently take care of the entire room which was filled with the pre-theatre crowd. He was so good that I told him how wonderful he was in addition to leaving a generous tip.
If you are fond of fusion and small plates if you like the food at Bacar, you might like Café Andree. The wine list is small with a featured winery. This month it was Terre Rouge. The 2001 Tete-a-Tete went well with the food.
The waiter said the menu doesnt change often, but the sample menu on the website is outdated. So in addition to the items mentioned in this post and the linked post at the bottom heres what is currently available.
Breakfast / Brunch (most notable)
House made mini-muffins
Three grain blueberry pancakes with crème fraiche
Grande Marnier Brioche French Toast with fig compote
Chilaquiles with mild salsa, scrambled eggs and smoked mozzarella
Poached eggs on smoked pork with chipotle hollandaise on sourdough baguette
Tomato and scallion scramble with chipotle cheddar
Chorizo and mozzarella omelet with salsa and avocado
Bacon and mushroom scramble with havarti
Spicy tofu scramble with havarti
Small plates not mentioned
Brie Fritters with mango coulis and black fig compote
Organic field greens with blonde balsamic vinaigrette
Duck confit enchiladas with three salsas
Ahi Tuna, avocado and mango tartar on a crispy cheese pupusa
Savory French crepes filled with three cheeses ad black truffles
Baby arugula salad with crispy Serrano ham, goat cheese, pixie mandarins and avocado
Sautéed garlic prawns served on a crispy Spanish potato tortilla
Plate of sautéed and grilled seasonal vegetables
Tortilla Soup with avocado, cilantro and queso fresca
Sweet corn and queso fresco ravioli in a chile-manchego cream sauce
Romaine salad with creamy lemon-garlic dressing, shaved manchego & grilled balsamic onions
Sweet corn polenta with Humboldt Fog cheese & sautéed oyster mushrooms
Large plates not mentioned
Western Grasslands hamburger with queso de oro cheese on pain rustique
Gratinee of Portobello mushrooms, grilled vegetables & goat cheese, served with sweet corn polenta
Churrasco Flank steak with Argentine chimichurri & shoestring fries
Steak au Poivre with chili-braised endive, chipotle mashed potatoes & cream cabernet jus
Grilled Niman double-cut pork chop with a fava bean & sweet corn ragout, white truffle butter and chayote gratin
Desserts not mentioned
Plate of Artisan Cheeses & seasonal fruit
4 layer chocolate truffle torte tower with Mexican chocolate gelato
Assorted Ciao Bella gelato with cookies
Vanilla Flan with Grand Marnier berries
Cafe Andree [Union Square]
562 Sutter Street, in Hotel Rex
San Francisco 94102