Urban Tavern, San Francisco, CA

Got a $100 gift certificate here thanks to SHN. (Remember to participate in those text quizzes next time you watch a show.)

The restaurant was fairly energetic on Saturday night. Not difficult to see why since it is located in a prime location. It is not one of those places you would have too much trouble getting a table without a reservation though.

Service was as expected from a 4 stars hotel restaurant in a major tourist area - friendly, attentive and courteous.

The menu features many popular dishes from European and American cuisines. Shrimp Cocktail, Steamed Mussels and D.I.Y. Bruschetta were our appetizer courses. The shrimps were fresh and of good quality, served in a somewhat unexciting but still tasty cocktail sauce. Steamed mussels were cooked in a fairly flavorful bacon broth. It was hard to resist the urge to drink all the soup. DIY bruschetta was very mediocre. The toasted bread were too tough and there were nothing too special about the cheese or the heirloom tomatoes. I would not recommend getting this.

Our entrees were Veal Piccata and Steelhead. While the veal was much more eye catching, the real winner was the steelhead. The fish could use another 30 second in the oven but if you don’t mind it being slightly undercooked, the delicate texture was quite appealing. Served with simple roasted potatoes and herb crème fraiche - simple but adequate. The veal piccata tasted alright but the meat was too tough. The steamed rice was unfortunately mushy.

Food was pale in comparison to their drinks. It is a “tavern’ after all. The signature cocktails were made with high quality fresh ingredients. Even though I might not be a big fan of their food, I might still stop by for drinks in the future.