Best Neighborhood Bistro - 2011
A great neighborhood restaurant doesn't reveal itself at the start, even if its opening day is drenched with positive press. It takes years for a restaurant to settle into itself and patiently, meal after meal, build a regular clientele. Four or five years down the road, once the ficklest of foodistas have moved on — that's when a neighborhood restaurant's quality becomes clear. And so Range's owners, Phil and Cameron West, have proved their endurance. Phil's food, constructed along the lineage of Chez Panisse and Zuni Cafe, is capable of sure subtlety, filled with unexpected grace notes, and never boring. And if your dinner guest mentions to the server at the beginning of the meal that he's allergic to dairy? When Cameron brings the dessert menu, she'll have talked to the pastry chef and come up with sweet options for him. That consistent attention to detail shows. Night after night, the room is packed with first-date anniversaries and SFers bringing visiting Australians for a great local meal, as well as neighborhood couples escaping the kids.