No. 5: Mushroom Soufflé at Cafe Jacqueline

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

The reason that Cafe Jacqueline still shows up in most-romantic-restaurant lists isn't the fact that Jacqueline Margulis makes each of the savory and sweet soufflés on her short menu for two people. It's that diners are there for the evening, spending a few hours splitting a bottle of wine and waiting for their soufflés to be made to order, the conversation becoming as intimate as their familiarity with the cafe's weathered wood floorboards and pale blue-green walls. It's no surprise that a couple of plaques above the tables commemorate several wedding proposals and one “handshake of monogamy.”

Margulis has operated her North Beach restaurant since 1979, and while she's the same age as the grayer-haired Supreme Court justices, her technique is just as sure as ever. With its refusal to compromise and its single-minded focus, Cafe Jacqueline is as suited to the indie era as it was to the glossy-eyed Francophilia of the 1970s.

Tags: , , , ,

Related Stories