Sí of Cortez

Posted by Anita on 07.14.06 9:33 AM

After our first dinner at Cortez few months back, we were pleasantly surprised. The food was creative without being avant-garde, the cocktails were both well-planned and well-executed, and the service was warm but professional. We’ve gone back a couple of times for drinks at the bar. We love the rosemary popcorn, and the house Manhattan — made with Hirsch bourbon and brandied cherries — is one of my favorite drinks in town.

When we had dinner there last night, the food didn’t seem as inspired (maybe the novelty’s worn off?), but everything was at least good. The hanger steak was a little liver-y for my taste, but the accompanying onion rings remained truly divine. Other standouts included lemon verbena ice cream (which was an accompaniment to a lackluster apricot dessert), and a salad garnished with wafer-thin slices of manchego and serrano ham. The katafi-crusted crab cake was fairly pedestrian and a little heavy, and exterior of the lobster ravioli a bit chewy — although they put the hockey-pucks we had at Mamma Maria to shame. On the positive side, the service was just as wonderful as we remembered.

The decor manages to be modern-contemporary without feeling the slightest bit sterile. The light fixtures are works of art, and the noise is subdued by beautiful cork wallcoverings on the structural columns and doors leading into a private dining room.

All in all, a fabulous pre-theater option, and a great place to have a cocktail.

Cortez Restaurant
550 Geary Street (inside the Hotel Adagio)
San Francisco, CA 94102

downtown SF, restaurants
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