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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Longtime San Francisco chef Gerald Hirogoyen serves a French-Basque menu full of the rustic dishes of his childhood. Among them are garlic soup with rock shrimp, bacon, bread, and egg; pipérade (cooked peppers and tomatoes served with serrano ham and poached egg); and petrale sole with spinach and fried garlic vinaigrette. There are daily Basque specials for $26, or a prix-fixe menu for $38, which includes the special, a daily soup or butter lettuce salad, and dessert. Try a Basque wine from the impressive list, and don't miss the featherweight orange-blossom beignets or the pastry cream–filled gâteau Basque with cherry preserves on the extensive dessert menu. Service in the typically packed dining room is professional without being stuffy. Hirogoyen is often seen on-premise; he also operates a small café and take-out operation around the corner and the small-plates Bocadillos in the Financial District.
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