Best restaurants in Millbrae
Chef Ravi Kapur left a few months ago, but Boulevard chef Pamela Mazzola has taken over the menu, creating such dishes as house made cavatelli ($15.50) with melted leeks, fennel, Meyer lemon, white truffles and crab; and crispy cauliflower salad ($13.50) with the fried vegetable arranged on a mat of feta with pomegranates, cucumber, almonds mint and a few sprigs of peppercress.
On my recent visit I was enamored with the goat cooked four ways ($32). The bottom of the plate featured gnocchi coated with a goat Bolognese with chard and a natural juice sauce. On one side was a crisp slice of the belly and on top a chunk of shoulder and a chop with a flavor that’s more akin to lamb than anything else.
When it comes to dessert I can never say no to the caramel popcorn with cacao nibs and salt ($5).
The interior of the 120-seat space is bright and modern, with a urban feel thanks to large window, screened with gossamer drapes overlooking Folsom Street.
318 Spear St. (at Folsom Street), San Francisco; (415) 247-7770. prospectsf.com. Dinner nightly; brunch Sunday. Full bar. Reservations and credit cards accepted.
This Oakland soul food restaurant is a pretty place to quench the fried chicken craving. The chicken ($23) takes three days to prepare; it’s first brined, which ensures succulence, then it’s soaked in buttermilk and breaded to create a crisp blanket over the moist flesh. Chef Dean Dupuis is leaving, but the chicken is always on the menu, served with smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese that comes to the table bubbling in a small cast iron skillet.
The restaurant has updated many Southern dishes and given them a California twist. Southern Caesar is topped with crisp nuggets of fried grits standing in for croutons. There’s also wild mushroom enchiladas and smoked biscuit meat loaf. And for dessert: banana pudding with house-made vanilla wafers and a pouf of whipped cream.
It’s all served up in a warehouse-size space, with 22-foot ceilings, crown molding and floor-to-ceiling drapes that give nods to the antebellum South. It’s a clever blend of old and new that matches the tenor of the food.
2295 Broadway (at 23rd Street), Oakland; (510) 834-1000. picanrestaurant.com. Lunch Monday-Friday; brunch Sunday; dinner nightly. Full bar. Reservations and credit cards accepted.
Midweek it’s always nice to relax over a bottle of wine and a board of charcuterie like you’ll find at this handsome eco-friendly Fairfax restaurant.
The blackboard menu changes daily, but there’s usually pulled pork tacos ($10.75) stacked high with meat, cabbage slaw, salsa verde and creme fraiche. Other items include pizza ($13), gnocchi ($11.50) and salads such as spinach ($7.95).
The wine list highlights small sustainable producers.
123 Bolinas St. (near Park), Fairfax; (415) 488-5123. 123bolinas.com. Wine and dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Beer and wine. No reservations. Credit cards accepted.
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