Parker Roll with Butter
Crème Fraiche Gougeres with Dill and Chives
Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Dark Hill Egg, Brussel Sprouts
Blackberry Tart with Orange Fizz Geranium Ice Cream
Roasted Strawberry Cream Puff
Aerated Chocolate and Peanut Butter, Pansy Dusted Shortbread
Located on Russian Hill and conceptualized by the team behind Sons & Daughters it was following a long walk after dinner at Quince that I stopped in at The Square and although one particular plate proved amongst the best I experienced during my six days in the city little else about my experience proved memorable save for the amicable service and excessive decibels. Limited in menu with a focus on the bar it was just prior to 9:15 when I entered the renovated wood amidst brick space and finding the restaurant filled to perhaps half capacity beneath the glow of naked bulbs a seat was procured, orders soon to follow with a focus on small bites and desserts. Deferring on cocktails and instead opting for coffee that would prove both luke-warm and acrid it was with a single buttery roll and cultured butter that the evening began and progressing onward to a ‘snack’ and an ‘appetizer’ the gougeres would prove far too sour for my palate while the tender pork belly topped with crisp ears was a perfectly fine savory, though largely forgettable save for peppery bitter notes lent by a fresh radish. Moving onwards to desserts it was for two of the menu’s three selections that I opted and although the well-buttered tart was tilted too far savory in by an aggressively alkaline ice cream the follow-up cream puff was nothing short of dazzling – the choux pastry lightly coated with sugar while ethereal cream played soft balance to Northern California’s always impressive strawberries with a light smokiness tickling the palate in each bite.
RECOMMENDED: Strawberry Cream Puff, Parker Roll
AVOID: Crème Fraiche Gougeres
TIP: Largely due to a combination of stone walls and overhead music it should be noted that even at 50% capacity The Square is a loud restaurant and for those overly sensitive to sound I’d strongly recommend taking business elsewhere – a trip to Son’s & Daughters not only delivering a better experience but also far better food at a price point not substantially more expensive when accounting for the number of courses served.