That egg, that glorious egg at Octavia.
There are restaurants that serve comfort food.
And then there are restaurants that are pure comfort.
Octavia in San Francisco is such a place.
Like her first restaurant, Frances in San Francisco, Chef-Owner Melissa Perello has a knack for creating places that are cozy, warm, and understated. They make you feel right at home from the get-go, as if you just settled into the corner of a favorite couch at your best friend’s abode for what you know will be a lovely, relaxed evening.
Well, if only your best bud could cook as beautifully and effortlessly as Perello and Chef de Cuisine Robert Hernandez, of course.
The laid-back dining room.
To be packed on a Monday night is saying something.
Even on a recent Monday night, the Michelin-starred restaurant was packed, as I found out when I met a dear old friend for dinner, with each of us paying our tab at the end. What an ideal place for a gals’ night out to catch up with each other’s busy lives.
Spring asparagus with an unusual potato salad at Commonwealth.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a chef mention this restaurant as the place they most like to eat on their day off or as the establishment they’d most like theirs to emulate, I’d be doing very well indeed.
Such is the respect that Commonwealth has garnered.
The Michelin-starred restaurant opened in 2010 in an old donut shop in San Francisco. In fact, the Mission District restaurant not only sports the old donut mural on the side of the building, but possesses something truly rare in San Francisco — its own parking lot. It is a fairly small lot, though, so you still have to be lucky to snag a space.
Chef-Owner Jason Fox oversees the open kitchen in the compact dining room, which means it is worthwhile to make a reservation. My husband and I, who were invited to dine as guests of the restaurant on a recent Saturday night, saw a few walk-ins turned away because the restaurant just gets that booked.
Located in a former donut shop.
Some bubbly to accompany the first couple of courses.
While there is an a la carte menu, what really makes Commonwealth stand out is its tasting menu. In the Bay Area, where many tasting menus have prompted ire for their stratospheric prices that now reach well beyond $300 per person, Commonwealth’s is all of $85 per person ($140 total per person with wine pairings) for about seven courses. Even the “chef’s extended menu” is a relatively moderate $125 per person ($195 total per person with wine pairings) for about 14 courses, which is the option we went for.