Real San Francisco

Hyde Street Bistro

Marcon's bouillabaisse is marvelously earthy, a rich and spicy brew brimming with Mediterranean flavors and textures, with long slender spears of crouton and dollops of creamy rouille, the perfect foils for the wine and saffron and mussels and scallops and prawns. The lamb stew isn't as successful; the lamb is tender enough, and the carrots and potatoes are properly al dente, but the spicing is rudimentary and the broth is overly salty. The duck confit is also on the so-so side: The crisp, honey-glazed skin and the green olives alongside create interesting culinary contrasts, but the flesh is a bit overdone and not particularly memorable. But the côte de porc has a depth and richness to it unpossessed by lesser pork chops, with a sparkly sauce diable and earthly mashed potatoes lending stellar support.

For dessert there's a rich, molten flourless dark chocolate cake, tough profiteroles pleasantly stuffed with espresso chantilly and topped off with warm chocolate sauce, and a silky-smooth crème caramel touched with the orange-blossom decadence of Grand Marnier; but the outstanding meal-closer is the tarte Tatin, one of the best I've ever eaten. The apples, tender but still firm enough to give the dish a pleasant bite, are caramelized to the perfect level of sweetness and enclosed in a crisp, buttery pastry not unlike an exemplary, vanilla-scented madeleine. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting alongside, this is a thoroughly satisfying finish to your meal.

Many of the selections on the 60-item, French/California wine list are on the expensive side of the ledger, particularly the Old Country vintages, but the offerings are substan-tial and include such treasures as the 1997 La Gardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the 1997 Canepa Alexander Valley chardonnay, and the 1997 Monrepos single vineyard merlot. There are also several half-bottle and by-the-glass selections as well as five aperitifs.

Location Info



1521 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Nob Hill/ Russian Hill/ Fisherman's Wharf


Pâté $9
Tarte Alsacienne $7.50
Salmon tartare $8.50
Bouillabaisse $15.75
Côte de porc $15
Tarte Tatin $5.50
1997 La Gardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape $48

292-4415. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Reservations accepted. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: difficult. Muni: 12, 27, 83, Hyde Street cable car. Noise level: above normal.

1521 Hyde (at Jackson)

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