Had a chance to revisit grand SF institutions that I had not been to for upwards of a decade. Very glad to report that these places still are doing it well, very well.
Scala's: This has become a veritable institution amongst the ladies who lunch crowd but that should not shoo away anyone not of that set. The food here is really wonderful and faithful to Italy, not the Americanized version of it. The bruschetta was teetering with beautifully cut and sweetened tomato squares, arugula and parmesan and tasted as good as it looked. The penne with duck ragout was perfect... a thick and almost chewy meat laden sauce gripping for dear life onto the penne which was cooked to a perfect consistency. I cannot think of a finer lunch that I have ver had.
Moose's: A little less frenetic than the heart of North Beach on a Friday night, we were seated pronto
almost waved in off the sidewalk by the maitre di.
The corn cakes with creme freche and caviar were pillow soft and nicely sweet. The Moose's burger was gargantuan but retained its flavor and juiciness. the fries were hot, crisp and fresh tatsting.
Bix's: The standard for style and upscale surroundings has not dimmed in the decade passed and the food has been the focal point for the celebratory atmosphere.
Try the beautifully prepared steak tartar, mixed with a quails egg prior to serving. The lobster linguine was rich and deeply satifying without feeling like you just ate a pound of butter mixed with a quart of cream. The steak was cooked nicely to order and was deeply flavorful. Pass on the tuna carpaccio and the grilled shrimp appetizer--you can get better elsewhere.