Cafe de la Presse rocks my socks off
Sometimes I hesitate to write these restaurant reviews because nothing I say ever does the place or the food justice. So I shall just say, that Cafe de la Presse is fantastic, awesome, and truly rocked my socks off. It’s a complete transformation of the former Cafe de la Presse, which was more of a cafe, with the rack full of magazines and newspapers, and decent offering of espresso, teas, etc. Well now it’s a complete full-on bistro, still with that rack of magazines and newspapers, that offers a decent array of reading material while you’re chowing down on lunch.
This is the way it works: If you want to grab a magazine to read while you dine, go ahead and take one off the rack. You’ll have to pay for it, and you can either choose to pay before lunch, or after (have it added to the bill). Then you can either sit on the upper level with a spot of espresso and some biscotti, or go down a level for some real restaurant dining. I chose the latter, and it was fabu. All the waiters are very French, and they’re quite attentive, never failing to ask you how you are and so forth. The place was nice and airy, plenty of sunlight, beautiful wood-tone furniture.
But back to the food. I decided to forgo the traditional salad/sandwich for lunch, and went straight for the jugular with the duck confit. And boy, was it worth it. Duck confit, with mushrooms, potatoes… absolutely orgasmic. Next was dessert, obviously. I was a little confused with the menu descriptions, but decided to pick this strange-sounding “Il Foundant.” It turned out to be one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever had. It’s basically a slab of
meringue poached egg whites sprinkled with almonds, sitting on top of vanilla sauce. The egg white slab is light and fluffy, which is a nice contrast to the rich sauce. Fantastic.
PS. Here’s an SF Gate story on the transformation of Cafe dela Presse.
Cafe de la Presse
352 Grant Avenue, SF, CA (near the gates of Chinatown)
7am – 11pm daily