Review: Verjus

The latest project from chef Michael Tusk is a casual European inspired wine bar.

With already two successful restaurants in San Francisco, Cotogna and Quince, chef Michael Tusk’s newest venture is definitely the most laid back. The beautiful wine and retail shop features unique natural wines and is attached to the bar. The focus of Verjus is to provide a lively atmosphere where guests can drink and socialize and order food if they’d like off their daily changing menu. Guests can seat themselves wherever they would like or even stand at the high top tables. Since the menu is featured on the wall, guests can simply order at the bar or with any server they see walking around.

Daily Changing Menu.

I love the aesthetic of the “old school” style menu where everyone can see it.

Pâté en Croûte (8/10).

A really stunning presentation of pâté en croûte. Beautifully golden brown crust wrapped around tender meat with pistachios. The accompanying sweet fruit jam and onion spread added a lusciousness to an already sexy dish.

Croquette Au Jambon (7/10).

Not exactly what I expected with a ham croquette as I thought the meat would be in small pieces. However, it was a large single piece of ham with cheese and then deep-fried. While it was tasty, the breading and meat didn’t quite stay together making it a messy bite.

Scallop Bordier Butter (7.5/10).

I was very excited to try this beautiful pan seared scallop but it was sadly oversalted. I like heavily seasoned food but this was definitely too salty. The scallop however was tender and cooked perfectly.

Marinated Sardines in Chili Oil (8/10).

I love any type of marinated small fish and these were nicely seasoned with a good kick of spice and heat from the oil. The tomato based accompanying sauce was great with the fish especially when you made your own open faced sando. Simple and delicious.

Artichokes and Bacon (8/10).

Two of my favorite ingredients together. Tender morsels of baby artichokes with salty crunchy pieces of bacon…I could have used more bacon though.

Orzotto (8.5/10).

I’m a pasta fanatic and I loved the simplicity of this homey comforting dish. Orzo pasta was cooked risotto style making it rich, creamy, and luscious. The blue cheese flavored just lingered with every bite. Definitely get this.

Pithivier (8.5-9/10).

By far this was the highlight of the meal, a well executed rendition of a classic French dish. A savory filling of pork and guinea fowl was wrapped with flaky puff pastry garnished with various root vegetables. It was rich, decadent, and without a doubt a must get!

Faux Fillet (8/10).

The last savory dish was a mini steak frites with a bernaise type sauce. Seared beef + creamy sauce + fries, what could be better?

Since I went during opening week, Verjus was definitely popping. I enjoyed the majority of the dishes and the warm ambience added to the overall experience. Therefore, my rating is a 7.5-8/10.

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