Best Under-the-Radar Restaurant - 2007
A lot of ink has been spilled about the Fly Trap over the years, but precious little of it lately. Many sources give 1898 as the opening date for the Fly Trap, but the authoritative Doris Muscatine, in her 1963 book A Cook's Tour of San Francisco, says it was merely renamed then; it had opened on Sutter and Market in 1883 as Louis' Fashion. In its current (but still reassuringly old-fashioned) location on Folsom for ten years, the Fly Trap offers a comfortable, elegant, grown-up setting (pressed-tin ceilings, long polished-wood bar, white tablecloths) in which to enjoy your food. Classic, San Francisco-accented "continental" cooking (i.e., French and Italian classics) is offered: Celery Victor, house-made pastas, fresh salads, coq au vin, petrale sole. The first time we visited the Fly Trap, we were delighted to see brains with capers and black butter on the menu, among other offal dishes; the last time, the innards list was reduced to just calves' liver and sweetbreads (we had the sweetbreads, and they were superb). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there's the extra treat of a pianist, who is joined on Fridays and Saturdays by a vocalist. Urbane indeed.