Thursday, January 06, 2005

RNM:Restaurant Review CLOSED

After all the festivities of November and December who wants to eat out in January? Well, I do! And you will too especially if you take advantage of Dine About Town a January promotion whereby you can eat in a whole roster of terrific restaurants for $21.95 for lunch and $31.95 for dinner. Not exactly cheap, but the restaurants are some really outstanding ones.

I keep a list of places I would like to try and yet another list of places I would like to return to (when my budget allows). But you know how it is, one tends to go to the same places over and over again. That's what makes Dine About Town so great. It's the perfect excuse to try a restaurant that you might otherwise not make it to. Some of the restaurants on my list to try or try again are 1550 Hyde, A16 and Fringale.

I've been wanting to eat at RNM for quite some time and while my dining companion tried and thoroughly enjoyed the three course Dine About Town prix fixe meal, I was happy to make my selections from their normal prix fixe meal which offers a small plate and a pizza or a large plate plus any dessert you want (excluding the cheese plate) for only $25 between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the quality and the selection this is quite a good deal.

I had a gorgeous salad of arugula, beets, satsuma mandarins, chevre, and toasted walnuts. It was delicious and the kind of salad no one ever makes for themselves at home. All the greens perfectly dressed with just enough treasures lurking to make it a decadent experience.

My main dish was the ahi tuna "niscoise" - rare seared ahi with a salad of tatsoi, fingerling potatoes, green and yellow wax beans, cherry tomatoes and niscoise olives with caper mustard vinaigrette and a quail egg. It was a huge portion and the combination as an entree rather than as the more traditional salad, was surprisingly hearty. The tuna steak was very large and perfectly seared on the outside and rare but warm on the inside. Another enormous portion on the prix fixe menu was the pizza, which has drawn raves since RNM opened. The gentleman sitting at the table next to us had the caramelized onion and wild mushroom pizza with fontina cheese and truffle oil and he said it compared quite favorably with his other favorite pizza, the one at A16.

For dessert I had one of RNM's signature dishes, a bread pudding with dried apricots, toasted pecans and a brandy caramel sauce. This was one of those super luscious delicate bread puddings, not the thick and dense style. I recommend it though all the other desserts I saw looked equally scrumptious.

One note: Not all the Dine About Town restaurants have online booking through RNM for example must be booked directly. Though using is a very convenient way to see what's available on a given date.

598 Haight St @ Steiner
San Francisco