Saturday, February 03, 2007

joey and eddie’s pescheria

Last night, Daphne, Lisette and I dined at Joey and Eddie’s Pescheria. Earlier in the week I had had a chance to chat with Joey (local chef Joseph Manzare) about his other ventures (Globe, Zuppa and Tres Agaves), so I was anxious to head over to Noe Valley to check out his newest restaurant.

Pescheria is small (45 seats) and warm. It opened in the fall and the crowds indicate that it is already a neighborhood favorite. Glass tiles and pale blues and yellows are suggestive of the sea, and the concrete floors, polished aluminum chairs and laminated bamboo tables hint at Pescheria’s modern, comfortable cuisine.

The menu (sample) is short and packed with great choices. To start, we sampled the rich lobster bisque, a very creamy polenta with crab, and orecchiette with wild mushrooms and truffle oil. These offered a wonderful beginning to our meal; however, our entrees were even better.

Daphne and I both selected the butterfish with mushrooms, leeks and porcini butter. It is cooked in parchment opened tableside for a dramatic and delicious presentation. The aromas from the dish are enticing, and the parchment technique produces incredible texture. Tragically, I was without my camera, but I found a 7x7 magazine photo of this delightful dish. (right)

Lisette’s choice was even more intriguing. Her artic char was served a bed of celery root puree and topped with a pesto that was a perfect compliment for the sweet flaky fish. A poached egg completed the plating although we weren’t exactly sure what this whimsical extra added – it was balanced and memorable without.

At the end of our very tasty meal we all remarked that the service was excellent. Everyone was quite friendly and helpful without being intrusive. After reading Michael Bauer’s glowing review of Pescheria, I understand why. Mario Nocifera, who has managed The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, Michael Mina and Scott Howard, oversees the front of the house. And, Joseph has tapped the very talented Jerry McGinnis from Supperclub to run the kitchen. Together they earned a rare 3-star rating from SF’s most important critic and the suggestion that Pescheria is the “best casual seafood haunt in the Bay Area.” We agree.

Joey and Eddie’s Pescheria: 1708 Church, San Francisco, CA (415) 647-3200