After only three months of being open, the only available time to eat on a Friday night was 5:45 or 9:30. You know a restaurant is already making a hit when it’s that difficult to get a good seating time. Stones Throw is San Francisco’s new neighborhood restaurant mixing casual California cuisine with a flare for French preparation.
Located on the iconic Russian Hill, this new spot is one to talk about. The owners are both successors from the Micheal Mina Group and have teamed up to create a menu that is to die for. Chef Jason and G.M. Ryan Cole have done something that is unlike any other place. When you walk in, the restaurant creates an atmosphere for family comfort food but the dishes are not something you would find in your mom’s kitchen.
Taking the unfortunate early 5:45 seating this last week, my hopes were high as I have always been a fan of The Micheal Mina (Chef Jason had prepared a prefix menu for a friend and I a while back at MM). My husband and I were warmly greeted by the co-owner Jason and he even helped us find a parking spot in this tough neighborhood to park in (later found out if you take Uber, you get 5% off your bill).
The open room of the restaurant allows you to look down into the kitchen where you can watch all the chefs create your courses. The one dish on the menu that had caught my attention was the duck pate and mousse. It was a layered pate of goodness with a mustard gelée topped with shaved cornichons. The best part were the warm pretzel balls paired with it. The other starter we had was the puffed potato and eggs (warm potato dough with an egg yolk inside, surrounded by fried chicken bits and laid on a cauliflower mousse).
For our second course, my husband took the roasted carrot soup and myself the squid ink conchigle pasta. The presentation on both were outstanding. For the entree, I took the braised lamb shoulder and my husband the duck. The duck was perfectly cooked medium rare and on top of a bed of black rice. Entrees to me speak more to the execution of the protein and do not leave as much room for playful display as a starter or dessert would. Needless to say both our entrees could not have been cooked more perfectly.
As if we had not eaten enough, the dessert menu landed in front of us. That’s when we saw the doughnuts, but not any doughnuts. They were warm sugar coated beignets on a plate of peanut spread, with drops of concord grape and very sweet peanut butter. It was a take on a PB&J.
Another dessert magically appeared out of the kitchen as well and it was the “Not your grandma’s apple pie.” This may have been one of the most inventive dishes I have had in a long time but I will not describe it because some things need to be left a surprise. On the dessert menu there was a fun interactive part where you could fill out your favorite childhood dessert and if they decide to recreate it, they invite you to come in to try it.
Overall the experience at Stones Throw beat my expectation. I had very high hopes for this place and I am happy to say they were all met. I am looking forward to coming here again and a big thank you to Chef Jason and Ryan for all the hospitality and the bubbles.