There are so many new restaurants opening in San Francisco, it’s hard to keep up. I’m always checking out the latest and greatest, but sometimes it’s nice to discover a favorite among regulars.
Believe it or not, there are restaurants I’ve never heard of. Like L’Ardoise, a French bistro in the Castro area that my friend Andrew recommended. Although it’s been open for six years, it was new to me so I was willing to drop in for dinner on a Saturday night.
The little corner bistro had all the French touches like the red-and-gold lamp shades and waiters dressed in suits and white linen aprons. The menu was just as French with escargot and lots of cheese. Andrew ordered the classic coq au vin ($19), or chicken braised in red wine, which actually looked like short ribs.
L’Ardoise means chalkboard in French, so it was only fitting that I ordered from the specials menu, starting off with an artichoke heart salad ($12). The artichoke was perfectly cooked tender and had an amazing creamy goat cheese, but the anchovies added too much bite and the big bed of arugula could have been more creative.
The seafood cassolette ($23) was a hearty plate of fish and shellfish with a nice cream sauce, but I did feel the fish filet seemed overcooked.
The Last Bite
The dishes coming from the kitchen definitely hits the French bistro mark and L’Ardoise provides a cozy neighborhood spot. The food might not be as sophisticated or creative as some of the newer restaurants in town, but sometimes it’s nice to just slip into something familiar and comfortable.
Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps
L’Ardoise Bistro, 151 Noe St., San Francisco. PH: 415.437.2600. Open for dinner, Tue.–Thu., 5:30–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5–10:30 p.m. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.ardoisesf.com