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Thursday

ORSON has landed


Orson is Chef Elizabeth Falkner and partner/designer Sabrina Riddle’s project that aims to put back sexy into the San Francisco dining scene. A stone’s throw from a freeway off ramp and on a block with two other culinary luminaries, Orson is dramatic in both its interior aesthetics and progressive in its cuisine and cocktail program. The room is dominated by an oval shaped bar, with star mixologist Jackie Patterson devising an unusual cocktail list. While she puts forth a different breed of grog like a celery gimlet, she also took time to taste a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc with me while I waited for my table.

Once you get past the splashy art and modish surroundings, chef de cuisine Ryan Farr’s plates both wow and push the envelope of good taste. I had to pass on the Parmigiano pudding, with piquillo pepper jam and cocoa nibs. As a former resident of Parma and a Parmigiano traditionalist, reducing the King of Cheeses to a chocolatey pudding was a bit outré. More successful was the pork bun, which stealthily contained bits of trotter, pork belly, soy and jalapeño, and the twenty four hour sous vide short ribs, rubbed with espresso grounds and accompanied with a teardrop of a crème fraîche béarnaise.

Service was informed, eager and enthused, and it was great to see Chef Falkner make the rounds to all the tables to greet and get first impressions from the diners. Orson’s charm and personal touch makes for a great evening out and a welcome addition to an emerging neighborhood.
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P.S., I'd like to credit Frankie Frankeny, FrankenyImages.com for the image above.