So, last weekend during Global Warming '06, I finally made it over to Canteen, which has had many a diner clamoring for one of its precious 20 seats. I had been anticipating trying ex-Rubicon-chef Dennis Leary's creations for some time, so I decided to drop in for some brunch. We landed a great parking spot, and were seated within minutes.
Canteen is situated in the Commodore Hotel, Joie de Vivre's boutique hotel. The decor is gentrified diner-esque, and the wall to the left houses a nice selection of books. I noticed the curly-locked Leary has a love for Joyce: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, one of my favorite books ever. While most would consider the restaurant cozy and warm, I found it tastefully unsettling; maybe it was the unnerving music, but I just kept thinking the space would really facilitate shady dealings. I liked it already.
Apricot + Almond - French toast, sweet cream cheese
Everything on the menu looked pretty appealing, but as a party of two, we wouldn't have the capacity to try everything. The french toast v. pancake was a tough one, but I guess you can't really go wrong with either. The toast was delicious--nicely carmelized and not greasy at all. The cooked apricots were fresh and plump, and their juice lended itself to be a great not-too-sweet syrup-replacement. The only things missing were almonds; I couldn't see nor taste them.
Benedict - poached eggs, hollandaise, Canadian bacon, potato
I've been craving eggs benny for a while, and Canteen's rendition really hit the spot. The muffins were nicely browned and crispy, the ham was flavorful, and the eggs were perfectly poached. The standout was the hollandaise, which was rich but delicate.
Fish Hash - with local halibut, curry
This was the most disappointing thing we ordered. The sauce was creamy and flavorful, with a nice touch of curry and onions. However, the halibut was dry and a bit tough; that said, we ended up leaving most of the fish on the plate.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Canteen brunch; I'll definitely be back for lunch and/or dinner before school starts.
817 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Labels: San Francisco