Really Not for Me (RNM)

CC and I have been meaning to go out and have dinner together for such a long time, but with competing schedules and what not, we never ever got around to it… until now. After some discussion, we decided on RNM which is a place she saw reviewed on Check Please, Bay Area. It is located in the Lower Haight neighborhood and billed as offering American flavors with French and Italian influences. It sounded good to me, so off we went. They offered a prix fixe menu of 3 courses for $25 or $30. I can’t recall exactly right now, but CC and I decided to order different things so we could sample a few different dishes.

My first course was a tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwich. Now this wasn’t your regular grilled cheese sandwich, by any means. I’m not sure what kind of cheese they used (although I want to say gruyere maybe), but it definitely had a more refined flavor than the American cheese.

CC ordered the grilled hearts of romaine with fuji apples, saint agur blue cheese, toasted hazelnuts and champagne vinaigrette. It was delicious! All the flavors went so well together. I liked the touch of the fuji apples and hazelnuts, and the cheese wasn’t too overpowering. You have to be very careful with blue cheese, but when it is done well, I actually enjoy the flavor it adds to the dish, usually salads.

My main course was the RNM burger and fries. The burger was served on foccacia bread with white cheddar and caramelized onions. I didn’t enjoy this too much although it sounds appetizing. I think the bread was a little too bit hard and had too much rosemary. The flavor was too herby for me, so I ended up only eating the meat and leaving the rest behind. I also found the french fries to be on the soggy side. So disappointing.

CC’s entree tasted much better. It was the pork osso bucco on creamy polenta with sautéed chicory mix and gremolata. Unfortunately, the picture was a little bit out of focus, but it was pretty good. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite part of the meal, but it was still pretty decent.

Desserts were just okay overall, nothing very spectacular. I ordered a sorbet trio which included strawberry, orange, and raspberry, which by the way did not correlate at all with the fruit on top of each scoop. Most of the flavors were okay, but I think it was a little too tangy for my liking, especially the orange and raspberry one. I give them points for serving it like this. It reminds me of the way some sushi restaurants present their hand rolls. CC ordered a panna cotta, I think I can’t remember. I know she was planning on getting bread pudding, but then she changed her mind. I took a bite and it tasted fine but again, nothing terribly special.

Overall, the restaurant was not bad. It definitely had a swankier feel than most SF restaurants, and definitely more so than any restaurant in Lower Haight. I think CC said that Check Please, Bay Area reviewers noted it had a NYC feel to it. There wasn’t much lighting in the restaurant as is demonstrated by the blurry pictures of the meal. Many apologies for that. I can kind of see how they might say that since it was all black inside and the dark interior seemed to try and convey a big city vibe, but it didn’t impress me too much, food or ambiance-wise.

PAFO Ratings for RNM:
Price 3 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3 stars
Overall rating 3 stars

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