Piperade Restaurant on Battery St
Nestled to the east of Telegraph Hill/Coit Tower, technically “downtown” but not quite, lies the ambiguous locale of Piperade. Perhaps its homogeneous location in San Francisco is intentional- Piperade pays homage to the Basque region of France and Spain. It came highly recommended in my Michelin Guide book and received rave reviews via Zagat.
The ambiance of the restaurant is wonderful. Exposed wood, muted lighting, giant clocks and other modern decor give this place an elegant, but not too formal, feel. The weather was gorgeous that night (how rare!) so we actually sat out on their patio which had the same relaxed yet elegant mood to it.
For appetizers, we started with the dungeness crab “txangurro” with mango, peppers, basil and salpicon. Absolutely to die for! The crab was fresh and light and the flavors perfectly complimentary. For entrees, I selected the braised seafood and shellfish stew with a roasted red pepper sauce. Rich, but not overly so, this stew was filled with excellently prepared seafood and became more delicious with each bite!
The bf (now fiance,whoops!) got a little bold in his choices that night and tried the roasted Cornish hen and immediately regretted his decision hahaha. It was a bit gamey (as is expected) and quite small- it could have used a grain or starch to fill up my 6’3 man.
Overall, I loved Piperade for its relaxed ambiance, unique feel, tasty appetizers and drinks. My entree was amazing, but the restaurant is on the pricier end with most main dishes in the $30 or over range for some hit or miss options depending on individuals tastes due to its unique nature. I would be more apt to recommend this place to friends for drinks and apps overall, but it did make for a lovely little date night too!
Pros: Fabulous ambiance, unique cuisine, decent beverage selection, friendly staff and service, chef is active in making sure guests are pleased, parking available
Cons: Location is a bit off the beaten path, dishes are so unique they may not be applicable to all tastes, $$$ price range, smaller portions for some of the dishes
Recommended for: Romantic dinners, large groups if call ahead (have private dining options available too), drinks and appetizers, relaxed evenings, something new!