Thursday, October 29, 2009

Zuni Cafe

One of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco is a tradition there – the Zuni Café.  It is famous (rightly so) for its roast chicken for two, and since I only like dark meat and Karen only likes white meat, there couldn’t be a more perfect dish to share.  We have a standard menu that we always get:  an order of shoestring potatoes, a Caesar salad, and the roast chicken, served on a warm bread salad with pine nuts and currants.  You would have to taste it to believe how good this chicken is; I’ve never had one like it:

The chicken takes an hour to prepare, since it is cooked to order in the wood oven.  That means you have to order it right away.  Then you can relax with appetizers and drinks while you wait for it to cook ever so slowly and perfectly.

We used to go a lot on Friday evenings, before the SF Symphony.  Well, the concerts start at 8, and Zuni does not start serving dinner upstairs until 6, so there was always a bit of a rush to get a chicken ordered in time to enjoy the dinner.

Then one Friday, we were sitting in the bar downstairs about 5:30, waiting for our 6:15 reservation (that is really pushing it), when a couple walked in, said “2 for dinner,” and were shown to a table downstairs.  There is a seating area in the back, behind the bar.  I went up to the maitre d’ to ask what that was about, and he told me they serve a limited dinner menu downstairs as well.  When I asked if that included the chicken, he looked at me like I was from Mars and said “Of course it includes the chicken.”

So now we go early and have a comfortable, relaxing dinner downstairs.  As a side bonus, we always get a table near the wood stove and get to watch the entire Zuni kitchen team in action:

Definitely worth a visit.  Trust me - order the chicken. 

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