Reviews of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carol and Joe Davis - the Dining Detectives. From Sushi to Prime Rib, the Detectives dine their way across the spectum of fine food. ©2006 Carol and Joe Davis

American Brasserie-Restaurant & Bar

We love being the Dining Detectives and we were at it again, searching out the best and in this case one of the newest* restaurants in The Bay Area. It has become a habit to stay in San Francisco after work to eat and enjoy the City’s Fine Dining Scene and Nightlife. We were in South Beach once again, that trendy up and coming South of Market area near Pac Bell Park.

Paragon Restaurant and Bar was our choice this evening for a good time. The Industrial Style Décor designed by David Berman studios, with finishes of steel, concrete and glass fit perfectly with 20 feet ceilings. A giant Mirror, which measured 20 feet diagonally, hangs behind the Cherry Wood Bar and the large glass windows, which open onto the street give the restaurant, a bright airy ambience. We found Paragon to be very lively with a variety of fun music in the background. You can enjoy the friendly bar atmosphere or have an intimate dinner in the open dining room.

Paragon is new to South Beach but not San Francisco. Jon Swanson, the Owner and General Manager, shared Paragon’s history with us. Paragon’s business flourished for 10 years in the Marina, at Scott and Lombard. The development of the South Beach area and Pac Bell Park created an opportunity for Paragon to be part of this new generation of San Francisco fun! Also, they are carrying on their tradition for Specialty House and Classic Cocktails. Reading the drink menu was like having a Mr. Boston’s in front of you. One can enjoy:

Raynal VSOP Brandy, Cointreau, Housemade Sweet n’ Sour and Fresh Lemon Juice.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth with a dash of Bitters.

Old Fashioned-
Gentleman Jack Whiskey, Orange Slice, Cherry and Soda with a dash of Bitters.

Moscow Mule-
Stolichnaya Vodka, Ginger Beer and Fresh Lime.

Lemon Drop-
Absolut Citron Vodka, Cointreau, Splash of Housemade Sweet ‘n Sour and Fresh Lemon Juice.

Dark and Stormy-
Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Ginger Beer and Fresh Lime.

Triple Olive Martini-
Kettle One Vodka, Shaken, Chilled and Served Up with Vermouth Soaked Olives.

Grapefruit Cosmo-
Finlandia Cranberry Vodka, Cointreau, Fresh Ruby Grapefruit and Lime Juice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for your favorite Vodka as Paragon features 50 from around the world. Well now it was time to dine, so we were off .

We were warmly greeted and escorted to our table. Jason, our waiter, came over and we ordered some wine. We perused the menu, ordered some oysters and were ready for a fun, fine dining experience!

First Courses:

Chilled Market Oysters- We had a dozen and enjoyed both East and West Coast varieties.

Sautéed Hudson Valley Foie Gras
With Salt Roasted Peaches, Brioche and Sauternes. This is a must as a starter, tasty and great presentation.

Flatbread of The Day- A great Onion and Cheese Flatbread was today’s offering.

Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio
With Tapenade and Lemon Olive Oil- A special treat for Carpaccio lovers.

Main Courses:

King Salmon Roasted With Charmoula
With a Ragout of White Beans, Calamari and Manila Clams. The clams were stacked on top of the lucious King salmon. Just Great.

White Corn Ravioli
With Spring Leeks, Ricotta Cheese and Truffled Corn Cream. We never have had anything like this- if not for the fact that Paragon has an Open Kitchen we could believe that someone’s grandmother was in the kitchen.

Beef Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
With Horseradish Pea Puree Glazed Carrots and Mustard Jus- This was our favorite, juicy, melted in your mouth

Daurade Royal- Fresh Fish - The special of the day tasted great and the presentation was exceptional.


Crème Brulee Parfait
Layered with Lemon Cream and Blueberries- Fantastic presentation and taste.

Strawberry Napoleon
With Strawberry Sorbet and Spiced Pinot Noir Sauce

Chocolate Soufflé Cake
With Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream-We cut into it and warm chocolate oozed out- mouth watering but not too sweet.

Sorbet- Homemade Green Apple, Strawberry, and Peach. Had the texture of fruit and was a perfect palate cleanser after a great meal.


The wine list was well conceived for the cuisine that was offered and included some of our favorites. Chalk Hill, Sonoma County Chardonnay 1997- Full bodied, burst in your mouth Big Chardonnay- excellent

Saintsbury, Carnaros Pinot Noir 1998- Paired well with the White Corn Ravioli Markham, Napa 1997 Merlot- We enjoyed this with the King Salmon

Arrowwood, Sonoma County Cabernet 1996- Great with the Beef Short Ribs.

After Dinner Drinks-

A terrific selection which includes Grappa, Single Malt Scotches, Armagnac and Ports. One Clear Creek Muscato Grappa was a perfect finish to a fine dining experience.

Paragon is an "in" place to go. Don’t be surprised if you see Slammin’ Sammy Sosa or Mark McGuire here enjoying themselves after a Giant’s game. We enjoyed talking with owner/General manager Jon Swanson about the food, which he described as comfort food, which is fresh and seasonal. The food was delicious, the portions were large, the wine and drinks were great, the service was prompt and staff knowledgeable and we had fun. For good food and a fun time in the City Paragon is worthy. We’ll be back soon.


701 Second Street (at Townsend St.)
San Francisco, Ca. 94107

415-537-9021 FAX

Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2: 30 PM
Sat-Sun 11:30 am-5: 30 PM

Sun-Wed 5:30p.m. -10:00 PM
Thurs-Sat. 5:30 PM- 12:00 PM

11:30 am- Last Call

Reservations Recommended
Major Credit Cards Accepted

Valet Parking Available
Private Dining Room seats up to 20

Outdoor Patio Seating
Wheelchair accessible