Good atmosphere, OK food, below expectations.
Went to Cafe Claude last night (Saturday). As other reviewers said, the place is not pretentious or stuffy - very comfortable and casual, but not loud, which makes for a great dinner atmosphere. The special mushroom soup was absolutely wonderful; the french onion soup was a bit thin (too much stock), but the flavor was still very well-balanced. The beet salad was very interesting, but my friend and I would have preferred a cheese that was less pungent for this salad. The flank steak was done right, with good flavor, but the coq au vin was completely drowned out by the sauce -- the potatoes, the chicken -- EVERYTHING was overwhelmed by the sauce -- very disappointing. I could barely finish the dish. The desserts were the worst offerings for the night -- the clafoutis was unacceptably dry, and the soft chocolate cake (moelleux) was also dry beyond repair. Sure, you have the creme anglaise, but my friend needed not just one, but TWO, servings of the creme to get through the dessert - and when you have to pour on so much of the creme, you end up losing the chocolate flavor anyway. We have never had trouble finishing desserts, but this was one of those rare occasions where we just had to push the plates away.
Most of the staff seemed friendly and warm, but the (seemingly) French waiter who served us was haughty. He definitely needs some attitude adjustment. Then again, we joked that he was simply bringing us a taste of authentic French attitudes.
In summary, it wasn't a horrible experience, and the prices (as mentioned by other people) were not outrageous either, but in all honesty, it was below my expectations, and it's probably not a place I would go out of my way to visit again.
Thank you for your review, I would like to express my concern for some of the things you mentioned in your writing. I am disappointed that your experience was average and that you had dishes that were not up to par. I assure you that we work very hard to maintain an above average quality in our food, prices, selection, and service. Both our floor and kitchen staff are informed of all reviews and I would like to make it clear that is unacceptable in our eyes for our staff to act in any manner other than courteous and helpful. I apologize if you experienced anything other than that. In addition, we will be removing the clafoutis from our menu by the end of January, and our chefs have been informed of your comments regarding the coq au vin and moelleux au chocolat. Again, I thank you for your review and my hope is that you will return to Cafe Claude and leave with a feeling of satisfaction in both the quality of food and service.
Tucked away in an alley by Union Square, this genuine French cafe dishes up Gallic cuisine with abundant charm..
An L-shaped dining room with expansive ceilings and buttery yellow walls adorned with black-and-white prints of Paris and vintage movie posters give this boite a warm, authentic feel. That's no coincidence: Tables, chairs, mirrors and the zinc-topped bar were shipped directly from Le Barbizon, a French brasserie. Friendly waitstaff, sleekly dressed in black, almost all boast French accents but none of that infamous Parisian snootiness.
Familiar bistro fare, such as rich French onion soup topped with fat croutons and gruyere cheese, share menu space with more fusion-friendly picks, like kobe steak tartare. The steak tartare is served with cornichons, capers, egg yolk, mustard, parsley, croutons and shallots, while the truffle mousse with chicken livers is accompanied by crepes marinated in sherry. The moelleux au chocolate, a velvety chocolate cake drizzled with crème anglaise, is pure decadence. Specialty martinis tempt, but the real treat is the international wine list with abundant by-the-glass picks.
Cute Spot, Great Service, OK food. I really wanted to LOVE this spot. the interior is warm and charming. The service was stellar. The food was decent but nothing i want to rush back for. We started with the endive salad ...which was fabulous. The perfect combintation of flavours. The beet salad was OK. The feta cheese was too dry...i like a bit of creaminess to help bring out the flavour and texture of the beet. The escargot was overcooked...really rubbery...we left 3/4 of it on the plate. I loved the "en croute" part but that was about it. It was also pretty flavourless...which was odd...because you can usually guarantee atleast a great garlic dipping sauce for your bread :0) The steak tartar was large, beautifully prepared tableside but for some reason fell short. We added extra salt and mustard..but nothing really made it "pop". The coq a vin was very tasty. The wine list by the glass is pretty minimal. I'll try it again at some point---probably. its not too far from home.
Thank you for your recent comments regarding your experience at Cafe Claude, I am extremely pleased that our staff provided superior service and that overall you enjoyed your dining experience. I would like to express my personal concern for your plates not upholding the same standard. We stand behind the quality of our food and are always looking for feedback when a dish is not up to par or can be improved in some way. Our chefs work very hard to prepare our dishes and are continually informed by management when an item or part of an item needs to be changed. Our quality assurance is based on the monitoring of what comes out from the kitchen and also by receiving comments such as yours, for that, I thank you. You also mentioned that you would like to see more options for wines by the glass ? we are in process of improvement in this area and I hope that you will be pleased by some new additions made in the last few weeks.
Leila Seppa. Manager.
Great place all around. I made a reservation and asked for a nice table for my anniversary. Not only did I have a nice table, but the food and service was fantastic. The owner came over to our table to wish us a happy anniversary and gave us dessert on the house. I highly recommend for a nice night out. But, get there early because they fill up fast.
Fantastic Romantic Restaurant!. My husband and I went there for our first anniversary and it was great. We made reservations via OpenTable the hostess read our requests and honored them. I was a bit worried the jazz music would ruin the mood, but it's actually quiet, subtle music, very relaxing... Our server was great, he recommended a wine and told us what he liked on the menu. The food was super yummy. Parking is kinda crazy, we parked at a lot on Sutter. The ambiance was very french, the alley way and the decor are perfect.
A stellar restaurant!. I took my girlfriend to Cafe Claude last New Year's Eve- I realize this is quite some time ago, but that should give you a clue to how great an impression the experience at this restaurant left in my mind. The food was absolutely exquisite, the service was as good as I have ever experienced, and the atmosphere along with the live music made this a truely unforgettable New Year's Eve dinner. Although not cheap, the experience was worth every penny. I hope to visit Cafe Claude again next time I'm in San Francisco. Also, I'd like to mention how impressed I am with how responsive Cafe Claude's manager has been here on Citysearch. You won't find many places around that care so much about their customer's experiences.
Great Coq au Vin. Both of us had great meals---every course from soup to dessert was excellent. The Coq au Vin was especially superior. Problems were understanding the French waiter, and getting a table in the main bar/dining area. We were in a side dining room which would be noisy if anywhere near full, and had a poor table setup (for people watching). Minor irritations. Don't let them seat you on Claude street(alley), which smelled.
I am pleased to hear that you and your dining partner enjoyed your dinners at Cafe Claude. We work hard to bring our customers quality products and service, so to hear that you had a ?great? meal is especially rewarding for us. I would like to address the issue that you brought up regarding the smell in Claude lane. We have been in continuous effort to enhance Claude lane not only visually with our planter boxes, plants, lighting and overhead awning, but also by daily cleaning and upkeep of the street itself to reduce any residuals left by cars, people, and other businesses around us. Our goal is to create an
atmosphere outside that harbors the same quality and ambiance as our dining rooms inside, with the true feel of a French bistro and, of course, to always provide an enjoyable dining experience from the food to the decor. Thank you for your review and we will keep your comments in mind as we work to update our
outside dining area.
Good, quick, attentive, yet relaxed.
Very good service. Went around 7 on a Sunday night, seemed busy, but the staff seated me right away. They all seems to speak french, which was good practice for me.
Good choices on the menu. My only complaint was that the bread was a little hard.
The lamb was quite good.
I'll be back for sure.
Consistently good.... I'll keep it short: I tend to go to Cafe Claude for business lunches. The service is always good & friendly, and they are always very accommodating with my frequently last-minute lunch reservations (they accommodate whenever possible, but it's not always possible). The food is always well-prepared & presented, and just the right size portions. The room is beautiful, with just the right lighting. I feel like I'm having dinner when I'm in there (and that's good)! The soup there is so good that I'm loathe to get it from any other place! Just a wonderful balance of flavors. Excellent place. Great room.
ab fab. It was my friend's last night in town so I decided to take her to my favorite tucked away bistro, Cafe Claude! Wanting to try their full on french experience, we asked the waiter their suggestions on typical french food to try at least once. They suggested the escargots en croute, steak tartare, and a pate plate to share in order to get a taste of multiple dishes. We took all their recomendations and everthing was ABsolutely FABulous! Since it was getting late, we moved indoors to finish off our bottle of champagne and the staff was completely accomodating. To finish off this delighteful dindin we ordered a tarte tatin (yummy yummy), the perfect sweet to end the night. I know my friend is going to want to go back when she isits, yet I am lucky enough to go back everyday!
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!