Burritt Room + Tavern – An Oasis in Union Square

Perhaps designed to keep its shoppers slim, Union Square lacks great lunch and dinner options.  As the stores close, conspicuous consumers and tourist clear out, leaving only the leftover debris swirling about.  Burritt Room + Tavern quickly established itself as THE place to drink in some newly purchased Celine shoes, but what many haven’t discovered is that the menu has totally been revamped and they’re also open for lunch now too.

Backed by the venerable Charlie Palmer of NYC restaurant Aureole fame, the menu focuses on farm fresh ingredients that are crafted into classic favorites like cornmeal battered oysters but with a twist like the fried brussels sprout salad dotted by Chinese sausage.  It’s classics done right for right now.  The executive chef is Ashley Weaver, who has been with the Charlie Palmer team for over five years.   In keeping with San Francisco’s legacy of local sourcing, they take advantage of the area’s tremendous green markets and collaborate with the food artisans and other purveyors whose extraordinary offerings make dining in the Bay Area a unique culinary experience. “When a prized regional specialty like Dungeness crab is in season, you will find that focused ingredient in several different dishes, from chowder to gratins to salads,” says Palmer. “Same with West Coast oysters. As we encounter the best raw ingredients, we will certainly show them off.”

The seared salmon over superfood wheatberry
The must have brussels sprouts salad with Chinese sausage and candied fresno chiles

As for atmosphere, six walled-in and curtained booths create dark corners for private conversations.  Proper linens are available in both black or white for their diners.  Impeccable service from top down where everyone including the bus boy knows where each item came from and whether or not the beef was grass-fed fully or finished with corn.  Never forgetting the importance of wine to our area, the wine list is well rounded and with at least 2 sommeliers at hand every night, choosing one for the meal is easy.  However, like any fine dining establishment, you can just ask for the wine pairings and have everything taken care of.   Make sure to have the oysters (whether fried or fresh) and Palmer’s own “Aureole Cuvee”

And what better way to finish off the intimate evening than with a night cap at the lounge where mixologists concoct the multi-layered flavored drinks like the Poquito Picante.

Burritt Room + Tavern

17 Stockton St. (near Sutter Street, in the Mystic Hotel), San Francisco
(415) 400-0561. charliepalmer.com/properties/burritt.com
Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. weekdays; dinner 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, until 10:30 Friday-Saturday.