The team behind San Francisco expense account fixture Boulevard opened Prospect exactly six weeks ago today; and executive chef Ravi Kapur hasn't taken one day off since. He's been studiuosly fine-tuning the menu, a more carefree, lower commitment version of the inspired American fare he's executed at Boulevard in years past. Meanwhile the general public, the bloggers and some critics have thrown out some early opinions on the SoMa newcomer. From food to cocktails to ambiance, a preliminary Prospect read follows.
The Good News: No Salad As A Meal sums it up as follows: "Prospect is an ambitious and exciting new restaurant that comes with a respectable pedigree. The ample space, the casual haute-cuisine and the location make it an attractive destination...[and the] Chocolate Orbit Cake... [is] one of the best desserts I ever had in San Francisco. And Chowhounder nocharge says: "I have had dinner there twice. Very impressed by how smooth the service was for a brand new restaurant. Very good food with interesting combinations of flavors...Verdict: the Boulevard guys know their stuff." [No Salad, Chowhound]
The Opening Kinks News: Chowhounder DandySF ran into a few issues soon after opening night: "...I had a three course meal that took 2.5 hours to complete. Fortunately I wasn't in a rush, but that's way too much time to spend on dinner. The food was much better than the slow but very friendly service. I'm fully confident the team will get things to run every bit as well as Boulevard." [Chowhound]
The Interior News: In an attempt to avoid looking like every other restaurant on the block, Prospect commissioned an architect, Brand + Allen Architects, who hasn't worked in the restaurant industry before. So far responses encompass the extremely positive, a la Yelper Mike K.; "Prospect is a visual marvel...the dark chocolate tone with cream accents has an intrinsic method of tempering your pulse...The main wall hosts engaging pieces from the SF MOMA which deliver a glitter of color to the room;" to the ho hum, as in Yelper Jeff P.: "Very modern but lacking in character. It feels like the designer picked everything out of a catalog." [Yelp]
The Service News: FoodNut had a positive service situation: "...this is a well seasoned team of professionals. The service was solid with a knowledgeable server, never need to ask for water, and solid pacing." But some of the Yelpers, like Leanne V., are singing a different tune: "...the painfully slow service docks them two stars. both the sommelier and our server were kind and knowledgeable, but our meal dragged out over a couple hours with huge breaks in between courses. breaks so long, you think they forgot about you." [FoodNut, Yelp]
The Cocktail News: Virginia Miller of The Perfect Spot writes: "Cocktails ($10-11) by the one-and-only Brooke Arthur were all high quality from a tart, bracing Mr. White (Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila, St. Germain elderflower, strawberry mint shrub, lime) to a robustly refreshing Prospector (Wild Turkey Rye 101, Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, Drambuie, pineapple gum, lemon). And Yelper Joanna B. had nice things to say despite some attitude at the bar: "Just had a quick cocktail there last night. Room was great. If I was grading this on cocktails alone, I would give it five stars. Bartender was a little snooty, gave me a sarcastic comment when I wanted to talk about a component in the drink I ordered." [Perfect Spot, Yelp]
The Price-point News: One VIP OpenTabler felt: "The food was all very tasty, but the portions were unbelievably SMALL. When paying $100./person for dinner you should not need to stop for a pizza on the way home!" But Yelper Andrew P. "Every dish was perfection...The plates were small but the price was reasonable. Superb."[OpenTable, Yelp]
All Previous Prospect Coverage [~ ESF]
Now that you've digested what's floating around the blogosphere, tell us what you think via email or here in the comments section.
[Photo: SF Biz Times]