Both my dining companion and I weren't too hungry, so we decided to skip the appetizers. I am not a big fan of pork, but I do like salmon, and that night, there was an interesting salmon preparation on the menu. So, against all natural tendency, I decided to go with the pork.
Braised berkshire pork shoulder with piperade and whole corn polenta 20
The pork was extremely tender, juicy, and fatty, with pretty much the same fat to meat ratio as pork belly. The pork was browned and subsequently braised, so it was intensely flavorful in its own broth. The piperade was a nice flavor pairing, though it provided little contrast in terms of texture with the meltingly soft pork. I didn't finish it, since it proved too heavy (my own fault for ordering, I know).
I got to sample the salmon, and it was very good. It was grilled delicately such that the surface wasn't overcharred, and the fish turned out a perfectly medium-rare. The potato salad was replaced upon request with a delightful bread salad. I really wish I had ordered this.
Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with shortbread cookies
The pot de crème, one of 1550 Hyde's signature desserts, lived up to its hype. I'm not too big a fan of chocolate unless it's dark and bitter, and I was delighted to find that this was more on the bitter, as opposed to milky, side. Deliciously smooth and decadent, I think I just might order this next time.
I really enjoyed the dessert special, a soft and chewy tart with a generous amount of chopped nuts. It had an interesting semi-crunchy but light consistency, which reminded me of toasted rice. The nutty tart was accompanied with a fresh berry puree and juicy blackberries.
The decor is minimalist and a bit sterile, and the restaurant is a bit hidden in the block. The place is pretty small, seating around 42, but it's not so busy that it's impossible to get in. In short, they do the well-sourced-ingredients-Cal-Med thing extremely well in a cute neighborhood spot.
1550 Hyde Cafe & Wine Bar
1550 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Labels: San Francisco