Here, now a round up of this week's reviews from the city's major restaurant critics.
Inside Park Tavern. [Photo: Eva Frye]
The headliner review of today is J. Kauff's exploration of North Beach's Park Tavern, a "hangout for power brokers and the financially blessed" that he deems "successful." The dining room encapsulates "a rich man's idea of casual dining," and the place "gives them what they want: stiff cocktails, strong food, and a few winks — pork belly bites, "boozy floats" for dessert — to remind them to enjoy themselves." Chef Jenn Puccio's best is "both precise and gutsy" and "the kitchen rarely misfires." Recommending the deviled eggs, "famous brussels sprout chips," "fat pork chop" and birthday cake for dessert, Kauffman seems to think the place has legs: "Someday, perhaps, Park Tavern's cakes will mark decades in business instead of months." [SF Weekly]
The Chron review today has two stars for Pasion, the newer Nuevo Latino restaurant from Fresca chef-owner Jose Calvo-Perez It's a "stylish date-night destination," and the best items on the menu appear to be the "halibut and scallop-based ceviche verde," ropa vieja empanadas, and the pescado a lo macho. Although "soupy" paella joins a few other misses, overall it's "a sophisticated spot for friends to enjoy cocktails and a few bites." [Chron]
Virginia Miller talks about all the desserts she loves: At Citizen Cake Ice Cream Parlor & Eats, "Where I get excited is with soda fountain offerings." At Pisco Lounge and Destino, it's the "dangerously decadent" triple chocolate chile buñeulos offered at dinner and brunch. And at Jasper's Corner Tap, "Ultimate kudos go to two house ice creams: fresh mint and Maker's Mark bourbon ($4 a scoop). The bourbon is creamy and boozy, while fresh mint is bright. Together, it's a Mint Julep in ice cream form. Genius." [Guardian]
The EBX figures out what's kept Rockridge's Marica afloat after all these years: Alhough menu updates have helped, [chef Chris] Cheung largely credits his restaurant's popularity to the perpetual happy hour; after 7, a younger crowd descends for $6 top-shelf cocktails. Marica's triple-duty front of house staff (everyone serves as bartender, host, and server) also knows how to bring patrons back. Exceedingly warm and menu-savvy, they give freebies to new customers and banter with the regulars. [EBX]