Since its opening by the husband-wife duo of Evan and Sarah Rich, who have moved from New York to the Bay Area, Rich Table has been a popular dining destination in San Francisco. Located in Hayes Valley, it has all the elements of a great neighborhood restaurant, with a rustic décor with that warm, welcoming feeling the moment I stepped into the dining area. What’s even better was the quality of food coming out from the kitchen.
Rich Table is another one of those restaurants that adheres to the philosophy of California cuisine, with emphasis on fresh ingredients and seasonality. What made this restaurant stand out, however, is the understated elegance that is both fun and serious. I was very impressed with the consistency of flavor across dishes, which was not heavy but had that complexity blending different elements. Sardine chip with horseradish and crème fraiche was an awesome start to the meal. By now, I’ve had dozens and dozens of brussel sprouts, but the one at Rich Table was very unique with the way they worked together with fresh yogurt and trout roe. Hamachi with black trumpet mushroom and radish was also a fun dish that served as more than an adequate starter, and beef tartare that came with sorrel and juniper was also quite satisfying in texture.
Rich Table has been known for its pasta dishes, so my dining companions and I proceeded to order a couple. While tajarin with black truffle and house butter could’ve added a bit more flavor to it, I was absolutely in love with tagliatelle that came with aged beef, caramelized onion and breadcrumbs. It was the best pasta dish that I had during my stay in San Francisco, with rich yet not over-the-top flavor working so harmoniously with the noodle and breadcrumbs.
Both main dishes that my dining party ordered were also delicious, although probably didn’t have the same impact as the dishes that came before. Still, the black cod and NY strip steak were expertly cooked, with some interesting combinations like sunchoke, Asian pear and maitake mushroom. For desserts, chocolate panna cotta and salted pumpkin seed sundae were both delightful dishes.
The restaurant has a full bar, with some solid cocktail and wine selections. The place when I visited for dinner on Thursday night was nearly packed, so I suggest booking in advance to grab prime time seats (although the bar area seems to be available as well). As noted above, I really liked the neighborhood vibe of the restaurant’s décor and atmosphere, with a lot of young handsome people looking to sample excellent dishes coming out of the kitchen. Rich Table is the type of restaurant that I would certainly love to have in my neighborhood. Certainly a big loss for NY’s dining world that this couple had decided to leave the city to open up their own place in San Francisco…
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 199 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 355-9085