Wednesday, March 7, 2012

San Francisco: Original Joe’s

Original Joe’s 601 Union St./Stockton St., North Beach, (415) 775-4877. L-D daily; $$-$$$. Reservations advised. If you’re wondering where everyone went, it might be to dinner at Joe’s in its new digs (it was formerly off Union Square on Taylor St.). It has been open only a month, yet it hustles and bustles--even in early evening. Diners can sit in the expansive cocktail lounge, in a dining room with windows to the park, or in a clubby back room filled with roomy red booths and a view of the exhibition kitchen. Menu favorites include the Joe’s hamburger (made with two patties, mesquite broiled, and served on Boudin sourdough bread), a rich chicken cacciatore, and a delicate lemony filet of sole picatta. The steaks, chops, and fish come with sides of either ravioli, spaghetti, hand-cut fries, or simple veggies. A good starter is a superb fritto misto with deep-fried calamari, lemon rounds, and olives. Service can be slow, so plan to enjoy a couple of the well-priced classic cocktails ($6); I favored the Manhattan with two brandy-drenched cherries. And I was in bliss with the rich, rich butterscotch pudding dessert, topped with caramel sauce and a huge dollop of crème.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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