Nico, San Francisco, 3/15/19

exterior
exterior

Nico opened in May of last year at this new location.  It is a fairly small place with one Michelin star rating.  Windows to the street make up one end of the place and the open kitchen is opposite that side.  One wall has a bench seat with a line of small light wood tables opposite it.  Exposed brick is on the walls, rock music plays in the background, a wide plank wood floor are all the backdrop for a friendly staff.   The small menu has  series of smaller plates to share or snack on and 3 larger plates for main courses.  From talking to the waiter it sounded like a lot people just come to the 5 seats at the bar and enjoy the snacks with drinks rather than come in for a meal.   It was a nice place but the food had mixed results.

interior
interior
interior
interior
kitchen
kitchen
table set up
table set up
menu
menu
drink menu
drink menu
Frankie and the table flowers
Frankie and the table flowers
wine
wine
interior
interior

 

The “Grilled cheese” is made with black trumpet jam and Comté cheese.  It was amazing and I can see why it is a favorite snack for visitors.  The long great bread had wonderful texture and had been toasted to a perfect crunch.  Inside the cheese was melted to a great gooey texture and flavored with tasty mushrooms.  Great taste and texture made this one rate very good.

"Grilled cheese," black trumpet jam, Comté
“Grilled cheese,” black trumpet jam, Comté
closer
closer
inside
inside
cut
cut

 

The bread at the place is the same as makes the grilled cheese but is different when served fresh.  It was served sliced and had a nice doughy interior and crisp crust.  It came with a really yellow butter topped with a bit of salt.  It was good.

bread and butter
bread and butter
bread
bread
butter
butter

 

The Sunchoke was plated with puntarelle and anchoïade.  A mushroom glaze was paired with anchovy on the very tender sunchoke.  Great textures and a nice tangy sauce made a good dish.

Sunchoke, puntarelle, anchoïade
Sunchoke, puntarelle, anchoïade
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closer

 

Leeks were served with capers and vin jaune (white wine reduction sauce).  The capers were fried and just the right amount of saltiness to the creamy, buttery sauce.  The leeks were well complimented by the excellent sauce.  A good dish.

Leeks, capers, vin jaune
Leeks, capers, vin jaune
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closer
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Salsify was plated with egg, mushroom and meurette sauce.  Some kumquats added another dimension to the dish, unfortunately it was a bit too tart a dimension for me.  The sauce was nice but it made the dish sloppy to eat when mixed together.  Good ingredients but not sure this one jelled.

Salsify, egg, meurette sauce
Salsify, egg, meurette sauce
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closer
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turned
chefs working
Chefs working

 

Duck breast was paired with rutabaga and vanilla.  It was a little more cooked than I’d prefer and the vanilla was really strong both in the duck and the sauce.  The creamy smooth rutabaga was grilled and better eaten without the overly strong vanilla sauce.  The vanilla flavor of it lingered too long on the palate for me.

Duck Breast, rutabaga, vanilla
Duck Breast, rutabaga, vanilla
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turned
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closer
closer
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closer

 

We chose not to order dessert.

Frankie loved the bathroom wallpaper
Frankie loved the bathroom wallpaper

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