May 20, 2019

San Francisco: Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant, restaurant review



San Francisco

Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant   374 Bush St./Kearny St., Financial District, GArfield 1-0594 ((415) 421-0594). L-D M-F; $$. Reservations accepted.
    

exterior of Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
exterior of Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Established at a different location in 1867, just after the Gold Rush, this old-timer has moved several times, finally settling here in 1946, on the corner of now-trendy Belden Place in the city’s French Quarter. It is said to be the fifth-oldest restaurant in the U.S. The restaurant hasn’t changed much through the years, and some people claim it has the original waiters, many of whom do seem to have the hard-earned skill that makes that possible to believe. Also, they all wear tuxedos, which is unusual nowadays. I am won over by the cozy atmosphere of wood-paneled walls and the bank of private booths with drape-covered openings and buzzers that once summoned the waiter but which no longer work. Back when, this was a favored lunch spot for the area’s movers and shakers and still is. You can practically hear the deals being made. Nowadays, there is also sheltered outdoor seating on popular Belden alley.
waiters in tuxedos at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
waiters in tuxedos at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


dining room at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
dining room at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


hallway of booths at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
hallway of booths at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


peeking into a booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
peeking into a booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


table in booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
table in booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Sam’s Grill is known for fresh seafood--Petrale sole, salmon, Dungeness crab, and even sand dabs when they can get them--as well as old-school favorites such as Celery Victor and Green Goddess salad. We warmed up with a Perfect Martini for me (it was pink and had no olives, just a twist of lemon) and a glass of Hess Chardonnay for him. For starters I selected a crispy classic wedge salad with ranch dressing, while my dining partner chose a tasty cup of Sam’s original red clam chowder. My main course was a perfectly prepared Petrale sole pan-fried with lemon butter, and his was a more complicated Coquille Saint Jacques featuring day-boat scallops in a mushroom-brandy cream sauce served in sea shells. We were both delighted. And fortunately we had enough space left to try the spumoni ice cream and house chocolate pudding--which was more like a slab of fudge, and so rich and thick and scrumptious that we did indeed take the leftover portion home. It is interesting to know that everything is made fresh in house, though the crusty French bread is a special bake from Boudin prepared with Sam’s own starter.


classic wedge salad at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
classic wedge salad at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California



Petrale sole at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
Petrale sole at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California



Coquille Saint Jacques at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
Coquille Saint Jacques at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California





Next door is the relatively new Sam’s Tavern sports bar. You can duck in here to watch a game on one of eight TVs while downing a drink or quick burger.



interior of Sam's Tavern, next door to Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
interior of Sam's Tavern, next door to Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


5 comments:

  1. I thought atmospheric would mean a restaurant physically high up there in a tower. But a legacy of private booths and tuxedo-wearing waiters is enough reason for me to make it the place where we celebrate our 11th anniversary this on Aug. 8! We have been looking for a special place and this fits the bill as we will be in the area at the time!

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    Replies
    1. Let me know how it goes! There is also an "atmospheric" tiki bar across the street, should you be interested.

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  2. I love the personal booths that offer a private dining experience at Sam's Grill in San Francisco. The food looks like it was delicious.

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  3. So here's another example of a great place that I somehow missed when I lived in the SF Bay Area. Sam's looks amazing. Tuxedos -- who knew?? Love the booths!

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  4. I'm loving those private booths! Sam's looks like a special spot to celebrate a meaningful occasion and the food looks delicious!

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