199 Gough St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 12/26/12
Rich Table was one of San Francisco’s bigger restaurant openings of last year and continues to be one of the hot tables in town. Evan and Sarah Rich are the couple behind the restaurant, whose collective resumes include San Francisco’s Quince, Michael Mina and Coi. Reviews about the restaurant have been very positive, including an impressive 3.5 star review from the SF Chronicle’s Michael Bauer.
A decision to dine at Rich Table was kind of a last-minute one. While planning to meet with a friend for dinner the day after Christmas, we scrolled through OpenTable openings and Rich Table popped up with an available table. Knowing that we kind of lucked out finding one, we snatched it up.
Contrary to what the name of the restaurant may suggest, the food isn’t too rich at all. Of course, ingredients are local and seasonal, and the menu is divided into a number of small ‘bites,’ appetizer plates, pastas and main courses.
DOUGLAS FIR LEVAIN, HOUSE CULTURED BUTTER
I’d heard much about the housemade bread so this was a must-try. The levain was warm and soft, and slightly toasted giving it a crispy texture. The subtle woodsy essence of the douglas fir definitely came through. It was very dense though, hearty but a bit filling so early in the meal.
SARDINE CHIPS, HORSERADISH
We really enjoyed these crisp potato chips pocketed with sardines. There was a great crunch with each bite, and the horseradish complemented the sardines well. Salty, slightly fishy, kind of playful – this was a very successful dish.
TAJARIN, HOUSE CULTURED BUTTER, PERIGORD BLACK TRUFFLES
The long, thin tajarin was dressed in a pretty light cream sauce, but the truffle flavor was still subtle here. The truffle gratings looked pretty generous, but I wanted the flavor to pack more of a punch.
TAGLIATELLE, PORK BOLOGNESE, APPLES, ALMONDS
We really enjoyed this pasta. The salty savory sausage, sweet crisp apple slices and crunchy earthy almonds came together very well with al dente strands of pasta. Delicious.
COTECHINO, WILD FENNEL LEVAIN STUFFING, KALE, POMEGRANATE
The cotechino, a cooked Italian sausage, was tasty with an interesting kind of loose, almost-grainy texture. The richness was balanced by kale and some sweet pomegranate seeds.
MINT CHOCOLATE CREAM, MILK ICE CREAM, CHOCOLATE COOKIE
Surprisingly, dessert may have been our favorite course of the night. I really liked the milk ice cream and the mint chocolate cream, and the chocolate cookie provided some much-needed texture. Simple flavors, but they were very well-balanced, crisp and refreshing. It truly tasted like the holidays.
Rich Table presented a number of exceptional dishes and some that we thought were just okay. The sardine chips, tagliatelle and dessert are still memorable over a month later. I actually thought we’d be able to try more of the menu between the two of us, but the bread really did us in early. If I lived in San Francisco, I’d return; since I don’t, it’ll probably remain behind a bunch of restaurants that I still want to try for the first time.