Fog City has been a dining icon on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for more than 25 years but as with all great restaurants it was time for an update. The “Diner” was gutted and a new concept was created. The décor is welcoming with an Oval Bar in the center, an Exhibition Kitchen with Wood Burning Fire Pit and Oven up front, new booths, and both regular and high tables for drinks and dining. Every seat has big picture window views of the Embarcadero and Battery Streets. The menu has also been updated by Chef/Owner Bruce Hill and features straight forward seasonal Modern San Francisco Cuisine which is meant to be shared but is by no means small portions.
We checked our coats, were seated at a booth and ordered Badoit French Sparkling Water while we looked at the small focused menu. We started with Specialty Cocktails which were both unique and really tasty. We enjoyed the Paloma which was made with Agavales Blanco, grapefruit, lime, Thai Bird Chili and cane sugar. We ordered it up instead of on the rocks and with the chili kick...it was just what we needed on this cold San Francisco night. The Fog City Milk Punch was another excellent choice. It is a combination of bourbon, rum, brandy that is infused with citrus and spices, lemon, sugar and clarified milk.
Our first tastes from the new menu were the Snacks. The Deviled Eggs with crispy quinoa and bacon were fabulous and the presentation was lovely! The lightly breaded Cauliflower Nuggets Vadouvan with curry Serrano Chile lime was beyond delicious and so different. The breading was lightly dusted and you could hardly tell it was there. Also, as you got closer to the bottom of the dish the level of spice increased... and we love spice! We have always found that Soups are a true test of a restaurant’s creativity and execution. The Roasted Pumpkin Minestrone with chanterelles, leeks and spiced broth was amazing. It was luscious and perfectly seasoned but not thick or heavy. It was very light and a definite must! We also loved the Wood Oven Clams in Sake butter with braised turnips, Maitake mushrooms, Yuzu and chili. It was served with Panorama Bread Toast which was great for soaking up the delicious broth.
Our main courses were excellent and the presentation was lovely. The Grilled Brandt Beef Rib Eye Steak with butter poached radishes, arugula green onion, Yorkshire pudding and herb salad is quite a meal and meat lovers will not be disappointed. It was served perfectly rare as ordered and was a flavorful large steak. The Seafood entrée that we enjoyed was the Alder Plank Half Trout with Arbequina olives, fingerling potatoes, herbs and grilled lemon. Make sure you also try their Vegetables. The Oven Roasted Baby Carrots with Black Garlic Mole, almonds and Cotija Cheese was our favorite!
The Wine list is also small and focused with International choices. We appreciated that they offer 3 ounce pours and created our own flights. Our favorite white wine was the 2011 Stefan Cellars Napa Sauvignon Blanc and our favorite red wine was the 2010 Five Easy Pieces North Coast Bordeaux Blend.
We were full but we always have to try the Desserts! We enjoyed both the Affogato which was a unique presentation of Vanilla Frozen Custard over Black Coffee Granita and the Fog City Frozen House Made Custard with Chocolate and Caramel Sauces on the side.
We had a wonderful dinner at the new Fog City! The cuisine was excellent, the service was superior and the vibe was upbeat, casual and friendly. We also appreciated the unique Steelite English dinnerware which made the cuisine look great. We’ve always recommended Fog City to friends and out of towners and are thrilled to see that it has evolved. We look forward to returning soon, as we must try their hamburgers which looked beautiful.....on their way to being quickly devoured at the next table. For those who remember their Visa commercial from back in the day….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqy2l6m9s_U they do now accept American Express and could soon be accepting Bitcoin and PayPal. Have fun at Fog City!
1300 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA. 94111