Intimate Waterfront Dining at Lafitte
Dining at San Francisco’s newest waterfront restaurant, Lafitte, is an adventure. Located at Pier 5 on the Embarcadero, it provides an informality and intimacy often lacking in larger restaurants. With a menu that changes daily, based on the availability of fresh ingredients and the whim of the chef, you never know what to expect.
Lafitte, named after an 18th century French pirate, is anything but conventional. The open kitchen with counter seating and long rectangular table provide an air of informality, as if you are dining in the kitchen of a friend’s country estate. The historic building features whitewashed walls and concrete floors. It is comfortable without being fussy. The bar is well stocked and offers a selection of interesting wine by the glass and bottle.
Executive Chef, Russell Jackson brings his unconventional approach to both food preparation and the dining experience. His experience with SubCulture Dining, an underground supper-club in San Francisco and restaurants in Los Angeles, lends a theatrical element.
As part of a larger group, we were seated in the adjacent tented room with waterfront views. We enjoyed squash blossoms stuffed with crab, fried olives, wild mushroom served on crostini, with charcuterie and cheese selections. The first course consisted of squash soup and a mixed green salad, garnished with persimmons. It was the perfect autumnal start to the meal. Entrees included turkey, squash, and a dark meat turkey stuffing; Lamb sirloin with black chickpeas and watercress; and a Mediterranean fish.
After dinner, coffee served in a French press accompanied by a pastry tray with apple and persimmon tarts and a decadent chocolate brownie. After the leisurely meal, I couldn’t eat another bite. Our dinner companions were from Manitoba, Canada and regaled us with stories of polar bear adventures, dog-sledding, and snorkeling with whales. I was surprised to learn that there are large French populations and towns as well as a large Icelandic population. For more information about Manitoba, click here.
Lafitte is located at Pier 5, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone (415) 839-2134
Hours: Open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11 am to 2 pm; Dinner Sunday – Wednesday from 5:30 pm to late and Thursday – Saturday from 5:30 pm to later; Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Editor’s note: This venue is now closed.