SW JAG has been on the go for the past ten years, and I’ve only been able to catch up with her every couple of years, so it is an even rarer opportunity when she is in town for work-related reasons and able to kill two birds with one stone. She’s been assigned as the senior Judge Advocate General on board the U.S.S. Carl Vinson which is the aircraft carrier leading the parade of ships that had come into town for Fleet Week this year.
She took advantage of the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of her friends one evening for dinner and we ended up eating at Delancey St. Restaurant which is right down the street from us. The restaurant has an interesting background in that it is a part of the Delancey Street Foundation, which is an organization that helps former substance abusers, ex-convicts and homeless “rehabilitate” themselves and become working, productive citizens of society. Many of these residents work at the restaurant as well as other businesses that are a part of the foundation.
The Heirloom Tomato Salad was simple and refreshing. The tomatoes were fresh and lightly tossed in olive oil, pepper and salt. It was a good dish and a nice way to start the meal.
The Fried Calamari was well-cooked and relatively tender, but there was a strong sour taste to it. I’m not sure if they squeezed extra lemon over the calamari before serving it, but I really didn’t appreciate that tanginess that even the tartar sauce couldn’t cover up.
Since it was Yom Kippur, they offered a special menu which included a choice of either the Beef Brisket Sandwich or Smoked Salmon. Pdho ended up sharing with Dunkle, so they could try both of them. The Beef Brisket was quite delicious. The meat was tender, well-marinaded and juicy. The potato cakes tasted fine but were a little dry, because I think they were probably sitting around for awhile.
There were two types of salmon, one being smoked and the other being grav lax, which has a cured and salted preparation. They were both quite solid. Along with a bagel, cream cheese, tomatoes, onions and capers, this was probably the best dish of the evening.
I was a little bit split on the Shrimp with Linguini. The shrimps were a little small, but they were actually quite perfectly cooked and well-seasoned, but the pasta was cooked a little bit longer than I would prefer. The sauce seemed appetizing because of the garlic and butter, but it also had a weird sour taste as well. I am starting to think that lemon is added in all the seafood dishes, and they might have just been a little heavy-handed.
Overall, the food was okay but not admittedly great. On the flip side, it really isn’t expensive at all. More than anything, this restaurant gets points for what it represents and how it is helping people change their lives. The restaurant staff is tremendously friendly and attentive. In fact, I believe all the people that work here are residents of the Delancey Street Foundation. Although the food isn’t the best, it’s really not bad either and you feel good about supporting the efforts behind the Delancey Street Foundation.
Delancey St. Restaurant
600 Embarcadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
PAFO Ratings for Delancey St. Restaurant:
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 2½ stars
Overall rating 3½ stars