Baker and Banker
1701 Octavia St. (at Pine)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Baker and Banker took over the space vacated by legendary Quince restaurant in 2009. They focus on upscale dishes using local and sustainable ingredients from nearby farms at reasonable prices, in an easy & comfortable setting. Husband and wife team, Lori Baker is the pastry chef, and Jeff Banker is the chef. He most recently worked at Home, Acme chophouse and Bix, while she has been the pastry chef at several restaurants. This restaurant requires a credit card when making reservations.
Baker and Banker also runs a sandwich shop and bakery counter around the corner.
Decor, Vibe – Baker and Banker tried to replicate the original location’ s apothecary with charcoal black edged in tarnished gold leaf on the molding and woodwork. Chalkboards are on the wall, upholstered banquettes, wine bar in the rear. The place was packed with well-dressed, fellow foodies mostly in the 40 and above range.
Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Baker and Banker Menu changes from day to day and features a $55 chef tasting menu (entire table must order it) as well as several à la carte options. Not a lot of options for vegetarians.
Be sure to reserve some space for dessert when ordering.
Baker and Banker Full image set
The warm and house made focaccia bread and potato rolls were awesome.
House smoked trout ($12) celery root latke, horseradish crème fraîche, pickled beets, shaved fennel is a signature dish and has been on the menu since day one according to the waiter. This is a Must Get Dish with excellent flavors and textures. One bite of the crispy latke, savory fish, and fennel prepares you for the rest of the meal.
Black pepper pappardelle ($21) braised shortribs, wild mushrooms, grilled radicchio, shaved pecorino was an excellent pasta dish. The short ribs were tender and had a succulent flavor. Mushrooms were fresh and plentiful, and the pasta was clearly homemade.
Dayboat scallops ($26) Dungeness crab and asparagus risotto, salsa verde had a nice combination of flavors. The medium-sized scallops were very fresh and had a nice caramelized top. The strongly flavored risotto contrasted well with the scallop.
Liberty duck breast ($26) parsnip gnocchi, duck confit, chantenay carrot puree, licorice root had very thinly sliced duck with the crispy skin, that was done to a medium/medium rare. The side dishes to the duck almost eclipsed the duck itself. The gnocchi was simply spectacular, and the crispy space elements were excellent.
Chantenay carrots, currants, toasted pine nuts ($6) came in a cute Le Cresete pot. Some nicely cooked carrots with a slightly spicy caramelization
PB&J doughnuts ($8) strawberry jam filled doughnuts, peanut butter dipping sauce was a fun dessert with three freshly fried balls filled with lots of jam. The peanut butter had a lot of caramel to it, adding to the sweetness.
XXX- triple dark chocolate layer cake ($8) is a must get for chocolate fans. Cheesecake layer, flourless layer, and the devil’s food layer made for a stellar dessert.
Baker and Banker had very good service with a knowledgeable and friendly waiter. We never ran out of water nor had requests that went unfilled. The food came fast. The combination of high food quality and very good service makes this place a no-brainer. Prices are more reasonable than many of the high-end places in San Francisco. This restaurant is just a couple blocks from Japan town, so you can park there if needed or walk there to burn off the calories. Be sure to check out the bathroom, there are signed menus from French laundry, Gary Danko, ETC.
KelleyJune 11, 2011 at 12:46 am
We used to eat with Jeff a lot at Koo before he opened Baker and Banker. He loves sushi. We have only eaten here once so far and really enjoyed it. We keep meaning to go back. Jeff and Lori are such nice people too besides being so talented.