2209 Polk St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410937.797084 -122.422119
Neighborhoods: Russian Hill, Northeast
Casual dining for locals at a casual price. – I just went there last weekend with a group of friends for Dine About Town. Parking within 3 blocks was non-existent unless you went for the pricey pay lot across from Rouge like me or traipsed down to Polk and Pacific. The interior was as expected for a bistro, cramped or cozy depending on your style. The decor was neat and well-presented, great for a casual date. Since my party numbered 13, we were seated at an end-booth by the kitchen with a large square table, which was something I've rarely seen. It was a nice idea for a larger party as everyone could share their juicy stories with the whole table. So, if you do reserve early enough, Tablespoon is ok for at least one large party on any given night.
The service was attentive if not especially brisk. Our waitress was quite charming and easy on the eyes, which was a nice distraction delicately enhanced by the strategically placed accent mirrors encircling the bistro. Most of the party opted for the prix fixe menu which offered a pedestrian squash soup, a nugget of broiled short-ribs, and a sliver of chocolate cake for $32. While the price seemed right, the offerings didn't pique my interest so I ordered a steak with a side of oysters a la carte. The $23 steak came unnecessarily pre-sliced with the juices running helplessly over the scalloped potatoes and the blanched chard. Unfortunately, it was harshy handled like a skirt steak and oddly, one half was very well done and the other was rare.
My seat offered a unique view into the kitchen and I couldn't figure out how the sous chef could allow the lone student assistant chef to push something like that out the door. We paired our meat courses with an all-purpose pinot noir as we were not interested in the predominantly syrah wine list. We could have shelled out $400-700 for a decent bordeaux, but given the environment, we didn't bother. From our 6:30 reservation, we finally finished around 10. For $50 a pop, it was a nice average meal.
Brilliant twist on Californian food! – Tablespoon is a great place if you like great food, ambiance and service! We heard about this place through SF's Dine About Town and confirmed its quality through online ratings. After last night, I'm ready to sing its' praises. I had the pork appetizer, oven roasted pork entree and the espresso dessert. The food is pretty, (seemingly) healthy and unique. Bravo!
A lovely restaurant for your Friday night – Checked this placed out on a whim and was very impressed. It was a bit on the expensive side, but not too over the top. I loved the mix of comfort foods and fusion. From mac and cheese to ahi tuna every single dish was great. Also, the lemon flavored cheesecake at the end of the night was to die for.
Cheap french food – Visited Tablespoon for my birthday on a thursday evening, reservation was for 7 pm but we arrived 30 minutes early. The place was fairly quite so we were seated immediately. At first from the look of the waiter I thought he was going to have an aloof attitude but he was both attentitive and accomodating. Did not feel rushed and he offered helpful hints and suggestions about the menu.
The wine list has something for all tastes and budgets, however thats all they serve, its either wine or water at Tablespoon ( Jesus would have loved the place!).
For the average price of $20 an entree you get alot. At most French restaurants you would pay the equivalent of $30 for a comparative plate. The oven roasted pork tenderloins is delicious and highly recommended. The desserts are huge, I would recommend sharing one dessert between two people.
I felt the service was brisk and attentive, then again it was a Thursday evening. The ambiance is a bit misplaced for their food though. The restaurant feels bare and open, a good place to eat with colleagues and friends but maybe not the most romantic place for a date.
Food is first rate though. Check it out if you want some nice French inspired cuisine but not the snobbery of some more expensive restaurants.
All-American fare gets a saucy makeover at this hip Russian Hill haunt. – The Scene
With retro wood paneling, a long, cozy bar and modish lamps emitting a warm glow, it's no wonder this stylish boite buzzes with sassy locals. Friendly, knowledgeable servers weave expertly between tightly packed tables.
Chef Rob Riescher injects his own breed of sassiness into the seasonal New American menu. Pureed beets stand in for tomato sauce on a cracker-thin roasted beet pizza, while cream-less butternut squash soup bobs with tender mussels and toasted pumpkin seeds. The kitchen's only missteps involve seafood, like peekytoe crab salad that's overloaded with green onions and roasted pomfret that's overly dry. But every other dish is unforgettable, especially a tender, juicy roasted pork tenderloin and a gooey mac and cheese studded with applewood bacon. The deserts are also stellar, featuring carrot cake with cream cheese icing and ginger snaps.
Tablespoon is a Treasure – The food, atmosphere and service are all terrific at Tablespoon. We've been there several times over the last few years and are always very pleased with the total dining experience. The chef and his kitchen staff are first rate. Whenever we visit SF, we always go there for at least one dinner. Wish we had a restaurant like Tablespoon in our home town.
Poor, poor service – The servers are incredibly overextended and it definitely shows. It took several minutes of waiting (and then occurred only after I asked a fellow customer) to be greeted by the staff. We were seated at the bar to wait for our table even though we had a reservation. We finally elected to dine at the bar. When ordering, we were steered towards one dish, a dessert. It later turned out that they were out of almost every other dessert on the menu. We had to ask multiple times for glasses to be refilled. Before we asked that it be packed up, the dessert had already taken fifteen minutes. As far as I could tell, four people were serving the entire restaurant (including bartending, washing/drying glasses, taking orders, and delivering food). Good food, but not worth the poor service.
Amazing food, OK service – We recently dined at Tablespoon with friends and were very impressed with the food. The mac-n-cheese as an appetizer or entree is simply fanastic - a must try! Our group also sampled the lamb (amazing - and interestingly hidden under a pillow of pasta), steak (also incredible) and the sea bass (delicious, if a bit salty). Apparently one of the chefs trained at the famous El Bulli . . wherever he/she trained, the food was phenomenal. The service, however, was spotty at best: our server disappeared for a long period of time and our wine (first and second glasses) took a very long time to arrive. Overall, we felt that we had to spend too much time during the evening trying to get our server's attention. We'd definitely return but can't say that it's in our Top 5 until the service improves.
Polk Street's best – Great mac and cheese with bacon! The staff is super freindly and knowledgable and the wine list rocks! They treat everyone like a local.
Wonderful restaurant – Ever since I moved to this neighborhood, I've been coming here. It's a wonderful little restaurant with a fabulous wine selection, yummy food, and really great people. I always feel welcome whether I'm visiting solo or with a group. You absolutely have to try the cookies for dessert. They are baked to order and served with vanilla bean ice cream (extra creamy). Also, their meatloaf (served only on Mondays) is excellent. Whenever my friends visit from out of town, I take them here. Every person I brought here has enjoyed it. The service here is top notch. When people ask me where to go in San Francisco, I always mention this place.
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