It’s a new year, and Adventures in Brunch are back – hopefully with way more regularity than before. We’ll never make it through all the places in San Francisco if we don’t pick up the pace, anyway.
So. How we picked our first place of the New Year was… through Living Social. I had a deal. Two mimosas + 2 entrees at Dolce & Salato just behind Laurel Village. We’d actually tried to hit this place in December, but it was closed for a few days surrounding the holidays, so this took us a little longer than expected. But since we’d already driven out this way once, we knew there’d be plenty of parking (although we drove up into the neighborhood a bit now that San Francisco has instated the oh-so-depressing Sunday meter enforcement.)
The restaurant. This is an order-at-the-counter, take-a-number-and-sit kind of place. Most of the brunch items weren’t on the board behind the cashier; you have to walk up and take a menu. Not that we even needed to look at one, because we both ordered our usuals. That means smoked salmon for Ann Marie and French toast for me. The place was almost empty when we arrived for the 11am brunch (although they open earlier for the breakfast crowd), so we picked a table and settled in.
Mimosas came quickly, and food soon after that. Ann Marie asked for no onions no capers, but since they just give you the salmon, cream cheese, and bagel with all the condiments on the side, they came anyway. Minor detail. Anyway, on to my brunch entree. The French toast with red wine caramel sauce. Now, in theory, this sounds to die for. Caramel sauce on just about anything is A-OK with me. And how many ways can you really spin French toast? So anything seemingly creative and different appeals to me. But. Once again, there is a but. This sauce had a flavor that can only be described as…odd. I know it wasn’t just me, because Ann Marie tasted my dish, and we both found the flavor a little off-putting. The sauce wasn’t really very caramel-y at all. And maybe the addition of the red wine gave it more of a savory taste. It wasn’t sweet at all. So I guess while I can appreciate the *idea* of trying to do something creative with French toast, this did not work. I guess we (or I, at least) are too used to pouring something along the lines of maple syrup on this type of breakfast item, because the red wine sauce was completely unsatisfying. Based on the French toast, I’d never go back to Dolce & Salato.
Ann Marie enjoyed her smoked salmon, and if I recall correctly, she gave it an 8 out of 10. The ambiance of this place is nice enough; Laurel Village always makes for a nice outing. The order-and-sit format makes for a casual dining experience, so this could very well be a fine place for locals to brunch on a weekend morning. But for this non-local, who has so many more brunches to explore, Dolce & Salato isn’t quite worth the trip.
Dolce & Salato: 3613 Sacramento St., (415) 567-8640