969 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109-4804
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Nob Hill Grille Restaurant

Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: American, Breakfast, Brunch

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Gayot
Rating:
13 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
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grubalicioussf

 San Francisco, CA
 

Not just for breakfast anymore

Nob Hill Grille is a cozy gem that my husband and I recently discovered, run by Bay Area natives, Rich Paez and Fabio Stefani, with chef Heli Samaniego as the driving force in the kitchen. Rich and Fabio, who have over 20 years of restaurant experience between them, took over the restaurant that only served breakfast in 2007 and have transformed it into a delightful dinner destination as well. We had the pleasure of dining as guests one evening and came away appreciating why Nob Hill Grille won the title of “Best American Restaurant” from Best of the Bay. We haven’t had a chance to return for brunch yet, but Nob HIll Grille was also bestowed the honor of “Best Brunch” from SF Weekly.

As you’ll see below, our starters, salads and entree were just about perfect. Desserts were a little less impressive, but overall, Nob Hill Grille is definitely worth a visit. I can’t wait to go back and sample other items such as mac and cheese, chicken pot pie and baby back ribs.

For dinner, the intimate dining room downstairs is ideal. For brunch, I imagine any seat in the house is great, but sitting at the street-level dining room counter to watch your meal being prepared in the partially open kitchen would be particularly fun.

brioche bread pudding

The only unfortunate part of our meal was the bread pudding with Bourbon caramel sauce and hand-spun sugar. It had great flavors and I admired chef Heli’s handiwork with the sugar decoration, but the bread pudding itself was burnt. Rich assured us that it was an abberation. By then, we were so satiated from everything else we’d indulged in that we really didn’t mind.

Wagyu sliders

Using local, seasonal ingredients, chef Heli treated our tastebuds to fresh flavors in dishes such as Wagyu sliders on a molasses bun. It was rich and delicious, with a little kick from spicy Djion-mayo, a little sweetness from sauteed onions, and a little creaminess from melty cheese. I loved the mild, crunchy East Coast pickles that came on the side.

burrata and heirloom starter

The house made burrata was divine – the rind was perfect, not too thick like some other places I’ve tried, and the inside was super creamy – and it was served with mouthwateringly juicy heirloom tomatoes, micro basil, a sprinkling of pepper, Australian pink salt and balsamic. Such a simple yet perfect dish.

filet mignon

The melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon was perfectly cooked and served with tender cannellini beans, broccolini, and roasted shallots in a port demi-glace topped with crispy onions. I don’t typically love fried onion strings atop my beef because it’s usually too heavy and greasy, but theirs was light and crispy, not greasy at all. The dish is a meat lover’s dream, hearty and comforting.

Summer salad

My husband, who isn’t a huge salad guy, admitted he could make an entire meal out of the salads here. We both loved the one with grilled peaches, watermelon, mache, bleu cheese, house made brioche croutons and mustard vinaigrette. Summer on a plate. The flavors were perfect – sweet fruit, tangy mustard dressing, the rich saltiness of the cheese. Loved the brioche croutons – they had a nice, fresh chewiness, not the hard crunchy little squares you often get.

beet salad

We adore beet salad, and Chef Heli’s version with petite goat cheese croquettes in a balsamic dressing was satisfying. The beets tasted incredibly fresh and sweet. I liked the fact that the goat cheese were bite-sized, not those nearly overwhelming big wheels you sometimes get.

peaches and cream crepes

During dessert, we sipped on a Cambria late harvest viognier, Santa Maria Valley ($8) to go with the handmade crepes with Bourbon macerated peaches and homemade whipped cream. The wine was better than the dessert – the crepe was okay, but nothing to write home about. It’s something I could have easily made at home.

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Nob Hill Grille Restaurant is located near the cities of Hayes Valley, Mission District, , Chinatown, and Haight Ashbury.
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