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.
The tables are numbered as though you were in a train car.
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.
Today I ordered the Sweet Corn Soup, the Grilled Mary’s Chicken Paillard, and the Valrhona Chocolate Bouchon.
The 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.
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. Mary’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.
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!
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.