You know how it is when you really really want to like a restaurant but come away a little disappointed after a meal? That’s what happened at RN74 in San Francisco. Had a lunch meeting there; and while it’s the first time I went for a meal, instead of for wine and munchies, I was expecting a good experience. Serivce was the biggest letdown. We were a party of 3 at a 4 top. The server didn’t take away the 4th place setting until we were halfway through our entries. Plates were cleared immediately and we felt rushed. They took the butter away before we were done with it.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to like about RN74. First and foremost, it’s a great space. Industrial yet an air of an old-world French wine country restaurant. Love the train/airline schedule boards, and the prices even flip every so often for effect.
The wine list is awfully nice, but the per glass prices are steep. Good bets are the Parr Selections, from wine director Rajat Parr, like the Purisma Mtn, Santa Ynez Valley Syrah that I had ($14). The earthiness paired well with my tagliatelle with chanterelle mushrooms, cavalo nero and pancetta ($18). I was totally happy, but my dining companions had less luck, especially considering the prices. A starter of winter squash soup with juniper oil ($11) was velvety and satsifying. But a slow roasted pork sandwich ($14) was a big cold mound of meat and not that appetizing. A little better, the open face sandwich of beef brisket with caramelized onions ($19). The pommes frites were billed as horseradish fries but I couldn’t find that flavor at all. Points for presentation of all dishes. But especially for the money, I think I’ll just go for the wine from now on.