SF’s Heirloom Cafe

Two weekends ago, I took a trip up to San Francisco. Our goal was to eat at Chez Panisse but that is only one meal. What else does the Bay Area have to offer? Last August, I went to Frances and loved my meal. I really wanted to go back this trip but I couldn’t get reservations until March (hi, it was still January at the time) and we decided to just try our luck. We arrived with Carina and was told it would be an hour and half wait…for the bar. I realize it is a tiny place but after driving all day and with only wine and oysters in my tummy, I couldn’t bear the wait.

The Dapper Diner, my guide to the SF restaurant scene suggested we try Heirloom Cafe as he thought it was similar to Frances. After all, they both print their menus on brown paper and have a red rubber-stamped logo on top.

house olives and marcona almonds

Looking over the short menu, we decided to get a salad and pasta (called a starter in this case) to share along with our individual entrees. I also got the roasted yam risotto to share.

Dungeness Crab Salad

pasta with shaved truffles

One of my favorite things I got at Frances was the Dungeness crab salad. I immediately knew I had to try Heirloom’s version. It was good and one of my favorite things of the night but like any seafood lover, I wanted more crab. We also really liked the pasta.

duck breast with farro and confit cabbage

Maine sea scallops with sweet mashers and currants

I was very curious to see how we’d all eat together- one  had been working on her fruit aversion and Carina believes no meal is complete without a lot of fruit on it. As it turned out, it was fine. We found the duck to be underseasoned which was slightly disappointing since everything had been good so far. Carina’s scallops were perfectly cooked and I did like the currants in the dish.

fish soup with PEI mussels, manilla clams, roasted fennel, saffron broth

roasted yam risotto

I normally wouldn’t have ordered a side to go with my entree considering I was getting a big bowl of seafood (my favorite thing, EVER) but the drive was affecting me and I had to make up the carbs. On the way up, I had eaten an In N Out burger without the bun, protein style! I thought the butternut squash risotto sounded great and I’ve been on a bit of a risotto kick lately. It turned out to be my absolute favorite dish of the night. The pistou, chanterelles and crispy shallots made interesting additions to the dish.

o Ree Oh Or ee oHH cake

apple and pear butter cake

Fortunately, I’m one of those people who doesn’t have to have dessert with every meal. But do think it’s a nice way to end a meal. And we most certainly wanted a nice ending to our nice meal on our first night in SF. The Oreo cake is probably not spelled as I captioned it but that’s how it’s told, sung to you. We also got the apple and pear butter cake.

Heirloom Cafe is a comfortable place. Our server and everyone who helped us were very friendly. The steaming bowl of seafood was even brought out by a daughter of someone at the restaurant. She was cute and instantly made us feel like part of the family, the restaurant and the city.

Heirloom Cafe

2500 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 821-2500