Please excuse the poor picture quality. It definitely does not do the food justice. I just keep forgetting to take out my DSLR so I have to settle for iPhone pictures.
I obviously love food. That’s why I have a food blog. And it’s awesome that my friends know I love food because they will think of me for anything food related. Take this past weekend for example – my friend had a reservation for Wayfare Tavern but couldn’t make it, so he offered it to me (hooray). I’ve wanted to try Wayfare Tavern for quite some time so I jumped on the opportunity. And boy am I glad my friend couldn’t make his reservation.
Wayfare Tavern is opened by chef Tyler Florence of Food Network fame (check out his show Tyler’s Ultimate Saturdays at 9am/8c and Weekdays at 3:30pm/2:30c). I admit I don’t watch his show very often, but nonetheless I was very excited to try his restaurant. What can I say, I’m just sucker for restaurants opened by famous chefs.
I really liked the decor of the restaurant. It was very much like a tavern inside – kinda dark, lots of wood, art and other things mounted on the wall. There is a somewhat open kitchen with a bar eating area right in front so you can see the chefs hard at work preparing the deliciousness that will soon be in your belly. The wait staff is very professional and courteous and just super nice and friendly in general.
But the best part of the night was definitely the food. Right when I sat down, they brought over their famous popovers (which are on the 7×7 list – score!). The popovers were amazing. It was buttery but still light enough that you wouldn’t feel like death after eating it. I ended up having two of them throughout the night and secretly wanted to take some home too.
For the starter course, my friend and I shared the Roasted Bone Marrow (with grilled sourdough, roasted brussels sprouts, sea salt, smoked olive oil). Not a lot of places prepare bone barrow so we wanted to give it a try. And it was to die for. The bone marrow melted in my mouth like butter and they gave us this cool “spork” to dig it out of the bone. Super delicious and it went very well with the little bit of pickled onions and grilled sourdough drizzled with smoked olive oil. To take it up a level, we also put some on the popovers. GENIUS IDEA. You have to try it.
As a side note, the menu also has a Poutine starter. This is the first time I’ve actually seen poutine in the States. I’ve had it in Toronto (since it’s a Canadian thing) and I have a feeling Tyler Florence would do a really good job preparing it. I will have to try it next time.
Anyway, for the main course I ordered the Pot Roast (48 hour braised short rib, whipped potatoes, truffled onion confit, veal jus). I could tell they really braised it for 48 hours because I could cut through the meat with my fork no problem. The short rib was tender with a rich/strong flavor. In contrast, the whipped potatoes were very fluffy. I could tell they used tons of butter but at the same time it wasn’t heavy either. I proceeded to devour the whole plate while savoring every bite. I must admit the dish became a little heavy toward the end, but that’s because I was starting to get really full. And yes, I finished it off anyway.
My friend ordered the Duck Gumbo (black roux, gumbo filé, piperade, duck leg confit, duck andouille, Cali rice). That was actually my second choice on the menu so I was really glad she ordered it and I could try some. The gumbo was exquisite. There were tons of bold flavors and the duck was prepared a perfectly medium rare. When duck is too overdone it gets tough and dry, but the duck meat was perfect. The duck andouille had a kick of spice to it and the dish even had duck liver. The rice wasn’t over/under done (which would have ruined the dish) and the whole thing was really well composed.
At this point we were beyond full. We couldn’t take another bite of anything…or so we thought. The waiter placed the dessert menu in front of us and my eyes gravitated toward one item – Sticky Toffee Pudding (warm toffee sauce, ginger ice cream). The dessert had a carrot cake/muffin covered with the warm toffee sauce. Although it was super sweet, it was also magnificent. And since the cake itself wasn’t sweet, it gave it a better balance. The ginger ice cream had actual ginger flavor and went very well with the toffee sauce. To top it off, there were figs and crystallized caramel bits incorporated in the dessert. It was a glorious end to a glorious meal.
And honestly the price was very reasonable. With tax and tip, it came out to a little less than $70 per person. That includes a glass of wine for each of us as well. For that caliber of meal, it really wasn’t too bad on the wallet. There are still so many things on the menu I want to try and I will definitely be going back again sooner rather than later. Bravo Tyler Florence, bravo.
558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA