San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the world. It’s stunningly gorgeous and is a food-lover’s paradise, with literally thousands of restaurants, and boasting more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country. We are from Santa Cruz and when we go to The City, we know we have a lot of choices of where to eat, from Afghan to Yemeni cuisine, from four-star restaurants to dive bars. Then, why would we go to the same place twice? Great food, great service, and great atmosphere.
Our party of seven dined at 54 Mint on a Saturday night, and having a reservation was a good idea, as the restaurant was always comfortably full while we were there. We started with some prosecco and a basket of warm focaccia and bread. I have only had prosecco a few times, but this was the best. The focaccia was fresh and delicious, as was the bread.
For an appetizer, we had the special grilled asparagus with ricotta cheese. It was divine – fresh, perfectly grilled, with its sweet flavor complemented by the ricotta. I had the Insalata di Rapette, which was a beet salad with yellow and red beets, basil, olives, pine nuts, and yogurt. It was sweet, creamy, and oh so good.
For a cocktail (OK, I had two), I had the Violette, which was lavender-infused vodka, served very cold, in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. It was delicate, complex, different, and quite delicious.
For my main course, I had the special pasta. It was chestnut flour pappardelle with two kinds of mushrooms, and, get this, blueberries! Let’s start with the chestnut flour. Who thinks up this sort of thing? Soft, brown, wide, flat noodles cooked to perfection, with a rather sweet taste to them. The two kinds of mushrooms included hedgehog mushrooms and some other kind. I have never heard of, or had, either of these mushrooms before, but they were delicious, being sweet and nutty, kind of like chanterelles. The blueberries were a small but important part of the flavor sensations in my mouth. They were sweet and tart at the same time, blending divinely with the pasta and mushrooms. It was a brilliant dish, very creative, and wonderfully flavorful.
For dessert we had tiramisu and the budino al cioccolato. Divine! The tiramisu is just heavenly, being light, fluffy, and creamy, with delicate flavors of chocolate and coffee. The budino al cioccolato is a bittersweet chocolate pudding that is cold, creamy, rich and very chocolaty, with a little sea salt to intensify the chocolatiness.
The menu is creative and changes with the seasons, even the drinks change. The focus is on local, organic, and sustainable foods.
The service was warm, friendly, helpful, and always at the ready, without being intrusive.
Being at 54 Mint is like being in a little oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the big, wonderful city. I can’t wait to go back again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.