Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bistro Aix, Marina

Last week, my parents were in town and I wanted to book some reservations for while they were here. Finding restaurants for my parents is a semi-daunting task: it can't be too loud, it shouldn't be too trendy, they should serve Diet Coke, and the food needs to be very accessible (read: American or "red sauce" Italian) for my dad.  

I didn't know much about Bistro Aix, but it had been recommended on the Top 100 Places to Eat list, and although it is considered French (not American or Italian) everything I read about it, including the menu, seemed to fit the above description.  I booked it.  We sat in the front room which was comfortably chatty, so that was perfect (the back room however, is quite noisy, so make sure to request the front if you don't like noisy).  The bar accommodated everyone, with both Diet Coke and this awesome beer. Love the label. 

We ordered a couple of appetizers: burrata on crostini with arugula and pea shoots, which doesn't fall into the "accessible" category for my dad, but wow, was it good.  The cheese was super creamy and the whole thing was seasoned really well,  in a light vinaigrette.  There was some coarse salt on it that added a little crunch that I liked. More accessible was the spaghetti with San Marzano tomatoes and basil.  Everyone loved this, and I'd be tempted to order it next time as my entree. 

Kev ordered another pasta dish, as recommended by our waitress, for his entree. This was tagliatelle with shrimp and clams in a spicy tomato broth.  It was a good dish, but not quite as good as the spaghetti.  My mom ordered the duck, which was great - juicy and tender. 

My dad and I both ordered the crispy chicken breast with baby red potoates: he was sold on "crispy" and potatoes; I was sold on the Patricia Unterman review describing the chicken.  It lived up to the description: the skin was really crispy and the meat was really juicy.  I was also eyeing the burger at the table next to us, which looked amazing. As good as the chicken was, I was having food envy.

At this point we were all pretty full, but they had tarte tatin. I had been thinking about tarte tatin just before we went to dinner, because I had read this Smitten Kitchen post and was thinking 1) I want to make that and 2) mmmm, tarte tatin.  And it really was lovely - warm and gooey and perfectly caramelized.  Even my dad ate it, and that is saying something (no warm desserts, either).

Moral of the story: bring a date or bring your parents.  And bring me, too.

Bistro Aix
3340 Steiner Street
San Francisco, CA 94123-2707
(415) 202-0100


Sarah C said...

yum. and i like reading about your parents visiting. xoxo

Howard Leung said...

Lovely dishes. I'd like to try the chicken!

Savvy in San Francisco said...

Love Bistro Aix! When we lived in the Marina, it was our favorite neighborhood restaurant. We even had our rehearsal dinner there. I miss the old open air back patio though.

staci said...

um, he also eats bread and rice krispies. And - just to point out - you and the anti-foodie ordered the same thing.

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