Blue Plate (San Francisco, Mission)

We went to Blue Plate last night, after not having been for a good probably 10 years (they’ve been around for 17 this year!) and had an exceptionally wonderful dinner.

The BF and I shared 4 “small” plates (at least a couple of them could have served as an entree): the pastrami-cured beet salad with a caraway thousand island dressing; burrata with walnut levain, stinging nettle puree and chili oil; a slow poached egg over farro with parmesan, porcini and meyer lemon pistou; brandade gnocchi, with batons of finocchiona salami,pickled golden raisins, toasted almonds, preserved lemon; and one entree: the porchetta, stuffed with walnut and wild rice, a Seville orange juice sauce and basil.

A dish of very good focaccia starts everyone off. We sat at the counter to watch all the action, but they also have a long, very pretty dining room, and a lovely patio out back with heat lamps.

The beet salad may have stolen the show for me, if only by a hair. The beets were really smoky, and a mouthful of the beets, shaved Gruyere, frisee, 1000 dressing and a Rangpur lime vinaigrette was like biting into a Reuben. Fantastic.

The burrata was great too, tarted up with the creamy nettle puree and meyer lemon chili oil, and smoked walnuts, and toasted walnut levain. Hit all the right flavor and texture notes.

The slow cooked egg could easily have sufficed as a main, it was so rich and filling. Savory, oozy, and slightly cheesy, with little bright bites of the meyer lemon pistou, and more grilled bread. Dreamy.

The dorade gnocchi were a big surprise - the gnocchi were made with a pâte à choux, only my second time ever (in two weeks, no less) encountering this gnocchi prep, and these smooth pillows only hinted at salted cod (good for the fish-not-loving BF). the assertive bites of thick cut salami contrasted nicely, as did the sultanas and toasted almonds.

Finally, the porchetta. I do believe this is my first actual porchetta, and it was a wonderful introduction, with it’s ring of crispy/crackly skin, and stuffed with the less-sweet-than-I’d-imagined prunes, watercress and wild rice. it was a gorgeous piece of meat, napped in a Seville orange chimichurri and its own roasted juices.

I had an Oloroso sherry, and a nice rosé flight (a Cinsault, a Chinon, and a Matthiasson from Napa) and the BF had two glasses of a Spanish wine made with the Bobal grape, from Valencia, Spain. He almost never orders a second glass.

At the end, the BF asked me, so, is this better than Garcon? Oh yeah, blew it away. Better than Hoffman’s? Yes. How about Lolinda? Hmm… Yes, definitely. Lolinda is consistently great, but Blue Plate offers what feel like personal touches to me, more surprises, and more refinement, even in that warm, very casual & down-to-earth setting.


Thanks, it made me smile to hear Blue Plate is still doing well. That stretch of Mission St. has gone quite a bit more upscale since I moved across the bay.

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Thanks for the report! I haven’t been to Blue Plate in a few years but I really enjoyed the meal I had there, both food and atmosphere. Glad to hear they are keeping standards high. It’s an unsung gem.

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oh my. the times have changed and Blue Plate is keeping up the pace. This was my go-to meatloaf and pork chop dinners.
Your post indicates it is time to enjoy a new menu. ;^)

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they still have the meatloaf on the menu!

I tried Blue Plate for the first time a few weeks ago and found it to be the rare place where the main courses outshone the appetizers. I’ve eaten porchetta at quite a few places and the one here was excellent – and huge, the size of a steak. Fried chicken was really good as well, tender, juicy nicely fried and lots of flavor. Tasted like maybe a buttermilk brine that really penetrated the meat. I thought the brandade gnocchi was just ok, not as soft as I’d like and as mentioned, the salt cod taste was subtle – too subtle for me. I tend to order chicken liver whenever I see it and the chicken liver mouse was not successful. It came in a glass jar and was too cold. Likely just pulled out of the fridge. Instead of bread they served it with large too thick pieces of kind of a granola baked in a pan. The granola flavor overwhelmed the chicken liver.


interesting re the liver mousse! thanks for the warning, but glad you liked most of your meal.

For sure I’ll go back. I want to check out the back patio next time.

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