Review of Nico [SF, Pac Heights]

Our family (2 kids, 12 and 13) had a birthday dinner earlier this week. We do a couple of these meals a year, so dont have a lot of experience. However we do know what food we like and enjoy :slight_smile:

We visited Le Petit Crenn last year, which has a similar price point. We gave Nico a slight edge over Le Petit Crenn (though both were very good)

Our five courses included:

Oysters - in a red cabbage sauce with fresh huckleberries. The oysters were great and slightly poached (from the warm juice). The sauce was a bit tart, I liked it the rest did not care for it as much

Scallops - thinly sliced with piracicaba and citron. We liked the sauce on this dish and used their b. pattisserie sour dough loaf to soak up the extra sauce.

Striped Bass with spinach and pear puree. The fish was cooked very well, just to the edge of being done and raw. The spinach was a nice contrast. The pear felt a bit sweet to the dish

Duck - squash and black garlic. Again, perfectly cooked, high quality duck. The squash was baked with a fair bit of butter.

Dessert was guava with vanilla icecream. We also had a pre-dessert of persimmon ice-cream (my memory fades a bit here).

Split the wine-sharing with my wife ($55 + $10 split charge). the pours were generous and we enjoyed it. The kids loved the meal. The staff were very nice and interacted with the kids and us very nicely. The restaurant was not too crowded. Chef Nico served a couple of dishes himself and did bid us good bye at the end.

Overall, for the price ($70 pp), i think this is a great meal in SF. Our dinner conversation was about the cost of eating out and whether Nico is an expensive meal and why.


p.s> sorry, no pictures, since we avoid using phones during dinner :frowning:


Would you say they are more French or more New American?

I once asked a colleague who grew up in Paris how he thought of the French food in the Bay Area. He said dismissively that they all sucked. With that said, I dined with him a few times and thought his taste of food was not very discerning, so I wasn’t sure whether he truly believed the French food here sucked, or whether his Gallic pride prevented him from accepting French food being ok anywhere other than in France. I think he and other French people probably would have a hard time dragging themselves into a ‘bistro’ for a $70pp meal (or $80+ in the case of Petit Crenn), even though these places are pretty much bistro by name only. $70pp for a star in San Francisco, assuming the food deserves it, is really not too bad.

I recall Petit Crenn is more French than Nico?


sorry for delayed reply. I dont know enough to really make an intelligent comment on the question. However the sauces @ nico seemed to veer it more towards what i’d consider french cuisine. We used the bread to soak up all the extra sauce from each plate.