Lunch with the Michelin Guide – RN74

Just because it’s Monday, and just because we were in San Francisco for work, and just because this restaurant is on the next block, Christine, the Summer Intern, and I went to RN74.

RN74 stands for Route Nationale 74, which runs directly through the Burgundy region of France. The restaurant is filled with different varieties of wines, listed as though you are traveling on a train. The interior is light and colorful.

RN74 - InteriorThe travel theme works its way through the dining room in the form of little tickets as the napkin ring. RN74 - Ticket on a Napkin

The tables are numbered as though you were in a train car.

RN74 - Numbered tablesA large display of sparkling wines appear as destinations on a board. RN74 - Sparkling Wine List

We were seated and some bread was brought to the table. Not just any bread – chewy crust, a moist and substantial interior, and a wonderful flavor was brought to the table. Served along side was delicious, fresh, unsalted creamery butter with a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top. The fleur de sel added a lovely crunch to each bite of bread.

RN74 - bread and butterDuring the month of July, Michael Mina group restaurants offer a fixed price menu. For $29, you receive a 3-course meal. RN74 - Out to Lunch Summer Menu

Today I ordered the Sweet Corn Soup, the Grilled Mary’s Chicken Paillard, and the Valrhona Chocolate Bouchon.

RN74 - Grilled corn, pickled onion, cilantro and crispy chicharronesThe Sweet Corn Soup is creamy and smooth. Poured over grilled corn, pickled onion, cilantro, and crispy chicharrones, the flavor of fresh summer corn bursts in your mouth and brings a smile to your face. After the first bite, I just had to close my eyes and savor. Sometimes food can leave you breathless. You pause and think about what is happening in your mouth and TASTE the food. You’re no longer eating, all your thoughts are wrapped up in that one delicious bite. As I write this, I still remember the soup. RN74 - Sweet Corn Soup

Grilled Mary’s Chicken Paillard was served with eggplant risotto, guanciale, and arugula panzanella. The chicken was seared in a very hot, cast iron pan resulting in the most crispy skin. It actually crunched! Served with a creamy eggplant risotto flavored with Guanciale (an Italian cured pork cheek) the flavor was a tad bit too salty. The panzanella, with its vinegar flavor, accentuated and sharpened the creamy risotto. Grilled Mary's Chicken PaillardMary’s Chicken is from the Central Valley and is from organically grown, pasture raised chickens. Very sustainable and delicious chicken you can feel good about eating. Well, for me – not so much for the chicken.

Since Christine is new to this “Michelin guide gig”, I told her I usually take a photo of my friend Sandra holding the menu. Christine was happy to comply. Christine and the menu

Christine ordered the Heirloom Tomato Salad. Fresh colorful heirloom tomatoes were quartered, served with smooth fromage blanc, creamy avocado, crisp pickled red onion, sweet basil, and delectable onion crackers. She also ordered the Grilled Mary’s Chicken Paillard, so I won’t waste time describing it all over again except to say she thought it was good, too!

Heirloom Tomato SaladI could not eat all of my meal, so I got a to go box. I love their logo so much I had to take a photo of a perfectly placed sticker on top of the box. Food to go - RN 74

At the end of the meal, our server brought out a small bag, similar to a bag you would receive when buying a bag of coffee. Inside was my little Valrhona Chocolate Bouchon. So, what is a Bouchon? It looks very similar to a brownie. So much so that from now on, when I make brownies, I’m going to call them bouchons.

Actually the term bouchon is defined as:
1. A region in France
2. A cork
3. A chocolate, brownie like cake, named after a region in France, shaped like a cork.

Our server brought out the bill. Lovely. I wish all bills could come like this. Wrapped in lovely red leather.


Since the bouchon was all wrapped up, I didn’t unwrap it to take a picture. I just brought it home. Well, most of it came home. I ate a few bites as it sat on my desk in its little bag calling my name. I brought it home for John. Because I love him.

RN74 was a lovely way to spend a Monday in San Francisco. I would spend almost any day here again and I would for sure order a bowl of the Sweet Corn Soup. Maybe two.

This entry was posted in FiDi Food, Food, Lunch with the Michelin Guide, Photography, San Francisco. Bookmark the permalink.

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