after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Trestle’s “good deal”

with one comment

t says:  Since moving to SF, Trestle has been near the top of the list of restaurants to try.  Every review reads something like, “$35 fixed price!  The food is just too incredible for it to be $35!  How do they do it!?”.  g and I were totally “in” – but for the record, there’s also a pasta supplement (+$10), which we’ll get into later …

March 2016.  Saturday Dinner, Party of 2 (or 4?).  g and I nabbed a reservation for a few weeks in advance.  Later, we happened to be hanging out with k and cm, and decided we should eat together.  We called up Trestle and asked to add two to the party – they refused.  We looked on opentable – and they had another two-top available within a half-hour of our initial reservation … so we got that one, too.  We showed up to the restaurant, explained that we had two reservations, and they sat us next to eachother … with different servers … with the intention that we would keep it as “two separate tables”.  I understand why they did it that way, and we’re fine with it – but it did add some fun to our dinner conversation (e.g. pretending not to know eachother, etc).  It did confuse the servers that we were so friendly, even going so far as to sharing dishes (i.e. one said: “we’ve never seen this before!” – I hope someone let her in to the fact that we knew eachother).  Anyways – it was entertaining, and we’re happy they took us, even if it was a bit silly.


Now here’s the problem with Trestle: the menu changes VERY fast.  And the problem is that unless a dish knocks us off our feet, it’s hard for me to remember what they are, as there is no longer a menu online for me to peruse (and I forgot to take a pic of the menu!  d’oh!)  First victim: the soup.  We remember liking it – we just can’t remember why!!  Argh!!


The calamari salad was flawlessly executed – just the right crispiness, just the right zippy springy flavors, and not too many greens to make it calamari soggy.  Some might complain that it wasn’t salad-enough (::cough:: g ::cough::), but let’s be honest: who’s going to order calamari salad with the “hope” that there are more greens than squid?  Answer: no one.



So, here’s the pasta supplement.  It was chicken “parm”, or maybe it was “chicken” parm – not sure what was in quotation marks, but I remember asking the waitress why (I wanted to make sure it wasn’t fake-chicken tofu).  It was essentially a deconstructed chicken parm, with an airy gnudi.  I would have preferred potato gnocchi instead, but aside from that, there was something really nostalgic about it.  Like, when I closed my eyes, I felt like I was in a South Jersey diner, age 8, and eating chicken parm from the menu of 200 items they served, thinking it was the best thing in the world (it was like pizza meets fried chicken!).  Now, 33-year-old me knows this was not the best chicken parm in the world, but it definitely hit the necessary notes for an elevated version of classic chicken parm (especially not having a tomato sauce that’s too sweet – that’s the worst).



For the mains, I ventured the beef (?short rib?) on what I believe was farro.  Solidly executed (I’ve had more tender beef in the past), with a very nice glaze.  Wasn’t particularly eye-opening, but no-brainer good.  g had some kind of fish on another type of grain – once again – the details evade us – we know it was nicely done, but nothing really stood out.



I’d have to say that the desserts were the weakest parts of the meal.  One was some sort of panna cotta with citrus highlights (and a crumble), and the other (pictured above) was a chocolate pudding with citrus highlights (and a crumble).  As sexy as torched marshamllow is, these were kind of phoned in.  Not super-thoughtful, not superbly composed, just a way to shut up a diner’s sweet tooth (my sweet tooth thanks them).  

So … Trestle … how was it?  Well, $40 per person for dinner is sort of a deal (because generally, you’ll need one pasta supplement per two diners, at least), and no part of the meal was bad (which is good!), but let’s add some perspective.  There are places in SF to get mind-blowing food in ample quantities that are just as inexpensive (Nopalito, Anchor Oyster), but those aren’t the contemporary-American-composed-dishes-in-courses restaurants.  When you start stepping up to the “tasting menu” styles of restaurant, then yes, Trestle comes in at a deal.  But I believe the flavors come in exactly at the pricepoint suggests; at no point did I every confuse Trestle’s dinner for some magical $100+ fixed price menu, or even an $70 one.  It tasted like a solid $30-40 – and for that, in SF, they get props for not charging $70, $100, etc.  Will g and I go back?  Not on our own accord – maybe if we have some visitors from out of town and need to add a Contempo-American stop to the itinerary (but that’d be after Mexican, Seafood, Japanese, other Asian, pizza, and French).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

20 April 2016 at 11:44pm

Posted in in California, Restaurant Reviews

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One Response

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  1. Hi there! I enjoyed your post on Trestle – I’m in SF and I still haven’t been there. I was hoping to ask you a few question via email. Could you please reach out when you get the chance? I’ve included my email address. Thank you!


    3 October 2016 at 5:04pm

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