Sometimes it's hard to find a classic French meal. In a town where every new restaurant is trying to outdo the other, simplicity can be hard to find, but the folks at Chez Papa Resto have it down pat. Yes, the portions might be a little bigger than those you'd find in Paris, but I'm not complaining. The decor here is also very San Francisco with deep colored walls, modern and sophisticated decor and rich purple drapes. But the food and service is very French, meaning the staff knows their stuff. But let's not mistake that for pretentious. This is not that kind of place. The crowd is very hip San Francisco. This is true right from the get-go. The waiter was friendly, accommodating and slick. We ordered the Prix Fixe menu, which included the Butternut Squash Soup, Steak Frites and Profiteroles for dessert. See, I told you it was classic French!
Everything was just as you would expect. It was delicious, richly flavored, yet never too bold that the flavors were overpowering or in your face. It was a perfectly smooth and fresh soup, an expertly cooked piece of meat with delicious buttery garlic flavor and perfectly tasty fries, and the profiteroles were rich and delicious, but never too sweet. It was an expertly crafted meal and a wonderful experience that took me back to Paris, so I'd say it's worth it. Plus the fact that the location is so conveniently located close to San Francisco Center and the Mission and 5th Garage, certainly helps.
I had forgotten to take my credit card with me after we left the restaurant, so I returned shortly thereafter to retrieve it. The Manager, who was also manning the host's station, was charming and funny. He even gave me a hug! And his heavy French accent was nothing short of adorable. The classic charming French man :). Even when I arrived, his dapper and nicely suited self was so accommodating, he asked if I liked my table or if he could do something to shade me from the sun that was shining in from the window in front of me.
All that attention to detail is what makes this place better than standard and different than just "simple". It makes you appreciate the finer things that take a little extra effort. When someone cares about what they do, how they treat others and what they serve, it shows. Chez Papa Resto his is one of those places.
For more on Elaine’s cheztastic meal, head on over to VirgoBlue.