Review: Routier.

It’s been a few years since this quaint French restaurant opened in San Francisco and we finally dined there.

Routier is  a collaboration restaurant between pastry chef Belinda Leong of b. patisserie, Michael Suas of Thorough Bread and Pastry, and chef John Paul Carmona. While the menu is heavily inspired by French food, you’ll find nuggets of Californian cuisine strewn throughout the dishes. The menu consisted of small bites, appetizers, and main dishes and everything sounded enticing so we opted to order mostly smaller dishes to sample more food.


Baguette with Beurre Diable (7.5/10).

Of course we had to get the baguette with butter as it’s a French restaurant. The baguette was served with a paprika flavored butter which added a little heat. I do wish that the baguette was slightly warmed but that’s not traditional.

Chicken Liver Mousse with Onion and Red Currant Compote (7.5-8/10).

The texture of the chicken liver mousse was fantastic, smooth and creamy. The compote was tangy and sweet but I do wish it leaned a little more sweet but that’s definitely a personal preference. I did really enjoy the multigrain crackers though.

Dungeness Crab Pavé (8.5/10).

This is a signature dish that I knew we had to order and it didn’t disappoint. The pavé, basically thinly sliced potatoes made into a square and fried, were the perfect vessels for the creamy Dungeness crab. The addition of the lemon zest was just the right amount of brightness needed for the dish.

Bay Shrimp with Green Garlic Mayo and Radish (8.5/10).

I rarely eat bay shrimp and this was another delicious snack. The bay shrimp were mixed with green garlic mayonnaise, sorrel, and crunchy bitter radishes. The buttery crackers were also superb.

Eggplant with Fresh Ricotta and Honey Caper Kumquat Walnut Vinaigrette (7.5-8/10).

I loved the charred eggplant and the honey caper kumquat walnut vinaigrette was insanely good. My biggest critique was regarding the fresh Ricotta cheese that I’m assuming they make in house. The texture was too liquidy for my liking (I imagined a thick and luscious Ricotta cheese) and lacked some flavor.

Fennel Salad with Dates, Feta, and Curry Vinaigrette (9/10).

While this salad might look unassuming, this was Tommaso’s favorite dish of the night. Thinly sliced fennel was coated in a curry vinaigrette with pieces of sweet chewy dates and salty Feta cheese. Something about that combination of flavors made for an excellent salad that made you wanting more.

Monterey Bay Squid with Beurre Diable and Pickled Chilis (8/10).

Who doesn’t love tempura style fried squid with a silky butter sauce?! I just wanted more of it!

Short Rib with Crushed Potatoes, Little Gem Lettuce, and Garlic Chive Sauce (7/10).

Our least favorite dish of the night was the short rib as it was slightly under seasoned. The meat itself was cooked perfectly, extremely tender, and the crushed potatoes underneath were tasty but overall the dish lacked excitement.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Choux with Vanilla Semifreddo (7.5/10).

This was a solid choux stuffed with semifreddo (not sure why they call it a semifreddo as it seemed like a scoop of ice cream).

Dark Chocolate Mousse with Coffee Crumble and Chantilly (8.5/10).

I’m not typically a chocolate mousse person but this was also a signature dish so I wanted to try it and I’m so glad I did. The mousse was utterly scrumptious and the perfect balance of sweetness without being overpowering.

Strawberry “Napoleon” with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone Cream (8/10).

The last dessert was also tasty but I wanted a stronger lemon curd presence as I love any type of fruit curd.

Overall our meal was very enjoyable at Routier and the ambience was also stellar so my rating is a 7.5-8/10.

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