My first visit to Range was back—when was it, a year ago?—when San Francisco’s inaugural Michelin Stars were finally dolled out. In fact, we dined there on the very same day that Range earned its star. And I remember thinking, “Really? This place earned a star over all the other mid-level restaurants in this city?” To sum it up, I was unimpressed. But you know me, bitch, bitch, bitch.
Last week, however, I had a meal that changed my mind.
I started with the Heirloom Tomatoes with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta and Basil Oil, which when you think of it, is kind of like cheating. I mean, the Heirlooms in California are INSANE right now, and if you can’t make them taste good, you shouldn’t be in the business. Range did a bang-up job with the dish, either way—just the right amount of oil to satisfy without overwhelming the tomatoes.
Then we had the Goat Cheese and Sorrel Stuffed Pasta with Lime Butter and Chives. Lime butter, who knew? Such a subtle citrus to cut the richness of the goat cheese. It tasted like sunshine.
My entrée was a Barley and Pecan Stuffed Pequillo Pepper with Portobello Mushrooms, Fromage Blanc and Green Tomato Sauce. That freakin’ lime butter was a hard act to follow, and I’m sad to say the stuffed pepper didn’t quite rock my world in the same way. But (and this is a huge, junk in the truck, badonkadonk BUT) I was thrilled to see a non-risotto vegetarian entrée on the menu. I’ll take a not-quite-as-stellar stuffed pepper over another freakin’ plate of risotto any day.
All in all, a fantastic meal, served up in a quintessentially San Francisco neighborhood atmosphere. I love how casual Range is. You get the star without the stuffiness, I guess. Nice.
Okay, now I really am leaving for Europe. Catch you in a few weeks.