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“Every bite a marvel”
Review of Chapeau!

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Ranked #227 of 5,737 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $80
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighborhood: The Richmond
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
289 reviews
205 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
“Every bite a marvel”
Reviewed November 20, 2013

To quote my favorite traveling companion, it's been a long time since we had a meal where, start to finish, every bite was extraordinary. We began with a perfectly made martini, shaken till ice formed and garnished with blue cheese olives. Our appetizers were escargots, salade landais and the salmon trio. The escargots were very good and traditional in style -- a great preamble with their excellent bread. The salade landais, with duck slices, escarole, confit and a pate underneath, was extraordinary. The salmon trio, featuring fried capers, was rich and delicate.

Our entrees were the cassoulet, my go-to dish in winter, which was rich and maintained the individual flavors of its elements. More exciting were the monkfish, a surprisingly tasty concoction to one who normally shuns white fish. Equally special were the sweetbreads, which my companion described in terms that any fan of "When Harry Met Sally" will appreciate.

Desserts were also extraordinary, including a French toast (you'll never look at breakfast the same way), an apple tart with chestnut ice cream, and a molten chocolate cake. We didn't leave any.

We had an incident with the wine which really shows the quality of the restaurant. We ordered a bottle of Cahors, and on tasting it both of us felt it was flat and acidic. We asked the waitress to taste it, and she didn't share our view -- but without any question took it back. We then ordered a syrah which we loved. Any restaurant that will respect the customer's preference that well gets my respect.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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223 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Erie, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Little bit of Provence in San Francisco”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We dined at Chapeau during a recent get away from our east coast home. With an abundance of restaurants to choose from we didn't want to make a bad choice. Chapeau was recommended to us by my sister-in-law who lives in Portland OR and makes frequent trips to San Francisco. She has very high standards so we followed her lead and booked a table. We made reservations the day before and were fortunate to get a 9:30 reservation on a Saturday night. We were greeted at the door by a very friendly hostess and the owner Philippe. When we asked about whether or not we were in a legal parking spot down the street, Philippe walked down the block with my husband and showed him where to park. Can't say this has ever happened to us before. So, great service truly starts the minute you enter the restaurant. The smallish interior was bustling with all the tables filled and a few more seated at the intimate bar. The atmosphere was a little more casual (which we prefer) than we thought it would be based on where my sister-in-law usually sends us. Our server, Ellen co-owner and Philippe's wife could not have been more helpful and accommodating. She suggested a very nice Pinot and also paced the dinner perfectly! After the perfect crusty french bread with a perfectly soft creamy ramekin of butter, we were served a petite mouche of salmon tartar bruschetta. I began my meal with a chilled salad of mesclun greens swirled in a sweet dijon mustard vinaigrette with pistachios and red grapes accompanied by a warm toasted camembert triangle. It was a delicious combination of flavors and the presentation was beautiful and unexpected. My husband had an appetizer size of our favorite Mussels and frites...which took us back to our favorite cafe in Paris. We were told that we had to try the nougat for dessert...so early on in our dinner I inquired if it might be available that evening. Ellen chuckled and assured me that it was. When I ordered my entree, a chicken stuffed with a veal mousse I was told that I would be surprised because it didn't look like chicken. I was presented with beautiful plate of what looked like a perfectly shaped pear sitting atop a potato puree and luscious green peppercorn sauce. What a treat!. My husband's filet was perfectly cooked to his liking and sat in a delicious mushroom ragu. Dessert of Baked Alaska and the frozen nut Nougat was a perfect way t o end the meal. Ellen also brought a third dessert of Napoleon with a custard and tropical fruit. This gesture was a perfect ending to a perfect evening!
Do not overlook this little gem a bit out of the bustle of downtown SF.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Pam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very French”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

The taxi trip out to Richmond was worth it. This is a very nice neighbourhood French bistro, away from all the tourists in central San Francisco.Very friendly French owner/operator who made all customers feel welcome. Food solid and well executed, not spectacular, but bistro food rarely is. I had the cassoulet which was ok but not perhaps the best choice for a late summer evening. Creme brûlée was bang on in consistency and flavour.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rohnert Park, California
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Abosolutely Perfect!”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

After my second time eating at Chapeau! I decided I needed to spread the word about this place.

The Chef is from France and he knows how to work in the kitchen. The best part is, after you've had a nice long dinner without waiters rushing you to get out, he comes around to each table and says hello and asks how everything was. I love that it's all about spending a nice meal talking with someone special, seems very European like. The waiters work as a team and don't interrupt conversation to take your plates or ask you if you want more to drink, they just give it to you. They only bring you your next course when you seem to have finished the last and had the perfect amount of time to sip some wine or champagne and chat a bit. You won't be tapping your fingers thinking, "where's my food".

Ok back to the food... WOW! We've had escargot, caviar, scallops, duck, so many different things. IT'S ALL GOOD.

The atmosphere is very romantic. It's dim with candle light and although the tables are very close together, it's intimate and cozy.

TIPS: Make a reservation at least a couple of days in advance for a weekend (maybe even a week out) and show up early to find parking. Parking is not easy around there. I would say to expect to spend around $150 - $200 for a nice dinner for two. Dress is not formal, but more like upscale casual. I wore black nylons with nice boots and a dress, husband wore dark denim jeans, dress shoes and a button up shirt. And last but not least, DON'T SKIP DESERT :)

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Nicole_Serna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“One of the best meals of my life”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

The atmosphere is nothing exceptional, but the food is divine. The amuse-bouche starter was cauliflower soup and that was amazing! I had the duck confit salad - heavenly - and the filet which was tender, cooked to perfection and had an exquisite sauce. I regret that I do not live in SF but I would go back just to eat at Chapeau!!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank traveljunkie53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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