Fine Dining in a Fun and Friendly Deco Setting.
The Dining Detectives were once again searching for Fine Dining establishments around the Bay to share with our loyal readers. We do have day jobs in the City as many of our readers in Petaluma do and decided to let the traffic clear and stay after work to eat out in The City by the Bay.
A short walk from Downtown is the recently renovated "trendy" South Beach neighborhood. This is the home of The San Francisco Giants new Baseball Stadium- Pac Bell Park and our destination restaurant--- Twenty Four. Twenty Four is adjacent to Pac Bell Park
. but not inside. It is located at the corner of King and Third Street.
We particularly enjoyed the architecture of the restaurant and the Art Deco décor. The beauty of the design includes a large half-circular Bar and open Dining Room, accented by the rich detail of mahogany throughout the restaurant as well as rosewood floors and high ceilings. Bold floral arrangements and great art further accented the ambience. The finishing touch was provided by light music from the great jazz vocalists of the past.
Some of you may wonder how the restaurant got its name? Well, twenty four, as many sports fans know, is a significant number in baseball. This number belongs to the one and only "Say Hey Kid", Willie Mays. On the south side of Pac Bell Park is Willie Mays Plaza that is highlighted by 24 Palm Trees, a Statue of the "Say Hey Kid" and a fine restaurant- Twenty Four.
We started out at the bar where we had cocktails and enjoyed chatting with the friendly bartenders Robert and Willie. They told us about many Ballplayers and Celebrities who have stopped in over the past few months since the Restaurant had opened in April. Steve Young, Willie Mays (Favorite Drink is an Arnold Palmer- Lemonade and Ice Tea), Chelsea Clinton, Ellis Burks and Joe Nathan. The bartenders are becoming famous for serving perfect Martinis and other popular specialty cocktails like the Stoli- tonic, which hit the spot for us.
Its time to eat! We were escorted to our table by Pat and introduced to our waitress, Nicole. She made our evening so enjoyable. We chatted about San Francisco, the restaurant and of course the food! We had so much fun during the evening that by the time we were ready to leave we had a new name for Nicole. Her new name would be NicKOOL. She was kool and it was a pleasure getting to know her! We also enjoyed talking to General Manager, Howard Cummings who shared his excitement about being involved in opening Twenty Four and putting together his a great staff. Howard has helped create an environment where everything just flows nicely.
Here are some of the dishes that we recommend. The theme for the food is "New American Cuisine".
Iced Shellfish Platter- Beautiful presentation, fresh and seasonal. A shellfish lovers delight!
Pacific Oysters, Dungeness Crab, Little Neck Clams, & Jumbo Prawns
With Freshly Prepared Horseradish, Traditional Cocktail and Vodka Mignonette Sauces.
The Fresh Oysters that we had were; Fanny Bay-British Columbia-Briny, plump, and slightly sweet. Kumamoto- Washington- Small, rich and buttery flavor. Yaquina Bay-Oregon- Full flavored, sweet cucumber finish.
Roasted Mussels with Brown Butter Almond Gratin and French Beans. This is an unusual preparation and we enjoyed the rich flavor of the mussels accented by the fresh flavor of the beans.
Sautéed Crab Cakes with Vanilla-Corn Sauce and Parsley-Truly worth having and tasty.
Boston Bibb Lettuce Salad with Sliced Pears, Shredded Gruyere and Toasted Hazelnuts. A nice salad to start.
Potato Leak Soup- was absolute perfection! We fought over the last spoonful.
Each of our entrées was perfectly paired with uniquely prepared fresh vegetables.
Spit- Roasted Pork Chop with Granny Smith Apple Sauce, Watercress and Whole Grain Mustard Jus. This was our favorite entrée for the evening!
Grilled Aged New York Sirloin on Mashed Potatoes with Braised Red Cabbage
The red cabbage was a tasty compliment to the steak (Niman Ranch) which was prepared medium rare just like we like it.
Seared Alaskan Halibut with Simmered Cannelini Beans, Pickled Rhubarb and Orange Vinaigrette. Cooked to perfection with wonderful fresh vegetables.
Grilled Wild Salmon with Artichokes, Fingerling Potato, Spinach and Roasted Onion Hash. Try this and youll be glad you did.
" The Twenty Four Apple Pie"
Granny Smith Apples in a Flaky Crust With Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Another incident occurred as to who would enjoy the last bite. Scrumptious!
Chocolate Soufflé Cupcake with Warm, Gooey Center and Pistachio Ice Cream.
Ice Cream Sundae- With Homemade Caramel, Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream, Nutty Chocolate Dipped Banana and Freshly Whipped Cream.Great for the kids or a kid at heart.
Twenty Four has a very complete wine list which focuses on mostly California Wines. There are separate lists for both red and white. One can choose from some fine full bottles, half bottles and wines by the glass.
We always prefer to order from the wines by the glass giving us more choices to try and write about. This evening we tasted a few and can recommend:
Iron Horse, T- Bar-T, Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 1998. Light and fruity.
Saintsbury, Unfiltered, Carneros Chardonnay- very tasty.
Keenan, Napa, Merlot 1996-Full bodied.
Turnbull, Napa, Cabernet Sauvignon 1997- Big and Bold.
Sterling Vineyards, Vintners Collection, Cabernet Sauvignon 1998-Bigger and Bolder.
Sabon Estates, Fiddletown, Zinfandel 1997- paired well with the Steak
We also enjoyed an Italian Sparkling Water- Ferrarelle.
Tweny Four is a fun and friendly restaurant where you can bring the whole family. The Bar is also a great place for an after work cocktail and a little bite from the Raw Bar. The cuisine is terrific, the décor (deco style) is sophisticated and inviting and light Jazz background music is pleasing.
Game days are more hectic than off nights, so you can choose your crowd. Chef Christian Andrew Caiazzo has done a great job bringing his "New American Cuisine" style for all of us to enjoy. Whether you drive in for a special lunch or dinner or stay in The City after work youll be glad you dined at Twenty Four. Definitely a destination for fun and fine dining.