Park Tavern, North Beach, San Francisco

Park Tavern is one of the best meals we have had in San Francisco and every course was spot on. We would love to hit up the bar and try other parts of the menu that we didn’t have the room or dining partners to get a taste. We deeply respect what they deem as must visits in the North Beach area and Park Tavern was named. The night was a perfect to walk around and enjoy an illuminated Washington Square.

Park Tavern was twice suggested from two extreme food enthusiasts of SF on independent conversations.

The lighting was low, ambiance buzzing and we could tell that Park Tavern was the right place to be that evening because the patio, bar and dining room was packed. Definitely get a reservation in advance. Park Tavern’s ambiance reminded us of Gramercy Tavern in New York City.

The tree motif on the entrance wall was enchanting. We really loved the gold etching and various shapes and sizes.

Despite having a reservation for Friday at 9:30pm, we waited 15 minutes  to be seated. It was worth the wait.  We had a corner table past the open kitchen,  nestled where there was only one table to our right. For a small group, this was one of the best seats in the house for groups who want less bustle and to watch the kitchen in action. It was entertaining to see the expedited Dungeness crab dip, salmon roe and yukon gold chips, Maine lobster bisque and Poulet Rouge (roast chicken). 

We loved the Parks And Recreational Drinking section and three drinks really stood out to us as unique. The Golden Gate Haamonii Shochu, Genmaicha Tea, lemon, tart cherry liqour and cherry bitters for $13. Also, the Buena Vista with St. George dry rye gin, Laird’s Applejack, apple-rosemary, bitters, Allagash White for $13 looked intriguing. Finally, we ordered the Mclaren was Hendrick’s gin, cucumber juice, lemon, ginger beer for $13. It was light, refreshing and really enjoyable to drink. Since one of us was under the weather, the brown Crueset mug with Mighty Tea Mint and a bit of Honey for $3 was comforting and hit the spot.

After we put our order with our friendly and knowledgable server, we enjoyed a nicey warmed, crusty pain d’epi (Epi baguette) with butter.

We had to order two deviled eggs, with bacon, pickled jalapeño and chive at $2 each. The deviled eggs had a creamy yolk center, but not overly dressed in mayonnaise. The crunchy, salty bacon with bits of micro chives and tang and heat of jalapeno were perfectly balanced.  These were really the best deviled eggs we have ever had. We saw pairs of deviled eggs flying out of the kitchen and we were jealous and wanted more.

The Brussels sprout chips for $7 were nicely crisp, had lightly singed edges and were well seasoned with a brightness of lime. We finished the entire bowl.  We hope to make these ourselves since we have attempted roasted brussel sprouts before.

We split a Young leek & broccoli soup, house cured lardons, black pepper and parmesan crisp for $13 and it was a nice gesture for the kitchen to split the portions. The soup was not overly creamy, very aromatic and very enjoyable to sip. The parmesean crisp with lardon added a nice salty element which was appreciate after a few spoonfuls. Really tasty.

We had to order the “Marlowe” burger with caramelized onion, cheddar, bacon, horseradish aïoli and fries for $14. The fries were nicely seasoned, especially with the creamy bite from the horseradish sauce.

The star was the Marlowe burger. It was really special. The pattie was perfectly juicy, nicely seasoned, had a nice crunch from the fresh, shredded lettuce, crispy bacon, melty cheddar and we loved the sweetness of the caramelized onion. So good. We would have this again hands down.

We would return to the bar area (with the comfy, tavern flair and moouse antlers to sample other items on the menu. We really wish we had room for dessert and the Creme brulee peaked our interest, as well as October’s Birthday citrus sponge cake with tangerine buttercream.

Park Tavern is a well oiled machine, especially with the volume of patrons. We were impressed. The food was comforting and exceptionally executed. Overall, our service is stellar.

The only pause in our experience was having to wait to get part of our meal to take home. The bus boy bused our table and offered to wrap up leftovers to go. After we grabbed our check and paid, we reminded our server for our take home box. She was trying to get the last order of the evening from a large group into the kitchen at 11pm, so we ended up waiting an additional 10 minutes for her to attend to the large group first before returning to be reminded. Other than the small pauses in waiting, we were more than content and happy to sing praises.

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