Review: Sorrel.

Another pop-up has opened a brick and mortar location.

Sorrel had been a pop-up series for numerous years until they snagged a quaint location in Pacific Heights (previously Nico’s old space). Chef Alex Hong has a fine dining background with experience at Quince in San Francisco as well as Jean Georges in New York City. The food at Sorrel is more approachable showcasing seasonal Californian cuisine with Italian influences. The vibe is casual yet modern with a somewhat open kitchen.

Sourdough Focaccia with Bagna Cauda and Herbs (8/10).

Beautifully browned warm sourdough focaccia had the crispiest crust with such a fluffy interior. Dipping the bread into the bowl of bagna cauda (an Italian condiment made from garlic, anchovies, and olive oil) was heavenly. I could eat this everyday.

Cultured Butter with Sorrel for the Bread (8/10).

We decided to also order their cultured butter to go along the sourdough focaccia. Delicious but I swear nothing beats Lazy Bear’s cheesy funky cultured butter.

Hamachi Crudo with Buttermilk, Cherries, Coriander, and Rose Geranium (7/10).

I was a little underwhelmed by the hamachi crudo as I felt like the various components didn’t harmonize together. The flavors were a bit subdued and subtle for my liking.

Wild Arugula and Frisée Salad with Stone Fruit, Hazelnuts, Pecorino Cheese, and Balsamic (7/10).

A simple salad with bitter frisée and peppery arugula with shavings of Pecorino cheese, juicy stone fruit, and a tart balsamic dressing. Perfect for a warm sunny day.

Tagliatelle with Corn, Chanterelles, and Fonduta (8/10).

Handmade tagliatelle was on top of a creamy cheese fonduta and then garnished with sweet summer corn and chanterelle mushrooms. A simple summer pasta dish that hit all the notes.

Chestnut Gnocchi with Black Kale, Smoked Duck, and Salsify (9/10).

Pillowy morsels of potato gnocchi were the perfect accompaniment for the smoked duck pieces, black kale, and sweet crispy fried salsify on top. Comfort in a bowl and easily my favorite dish of the night. Get this.

Dry Aged Duck for Two.

The stunning lacquered duck is presented before carving.

Dry Aged Duck with Hakurei Turnips, Spring Onion, Balaton Cherries, and Bronte Pistachios (8.5/10).

The dry aged duck had a crispy spiced skin with such tender meat. The juicy cherries, earthy turnips, and caramelized spring onion were great compliments to the star of the dish. Definitely well prepared and worth the splurge.

Buckwheat Ice Cream with Olive Oil, Puffed Grains, and Almond Praline (8/10).

A fun dessert with a crumbly almond praline on the bottom with buckwheat ice cream and puffed grains on top (almost like popcorn). Whimsical, unique, and tasty.

Buttermilk Sorbet with Peach, Hazelnut, and Coconut Caramel (8/10).

A refreshing silky smooth buttermilk sorbet with supple peach slices and sticky coconut caramel. A great way to end the meal.

Overall I enjoyed the majority of the dishes at Sorrel. Highlights were the bread, gnocchi, duck, and the desserts. I’ve also heard the foie gras torchon is great so I’ll have to try that if I ever return. Prices were a bit on the steep side but normal for the city’s standards so my rating is an 8/10.

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