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Saturday, February 14, 2009

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Epic Roasthouse and Water Bar sister restaurants celebrated their first anniversary just weeks ago, but their presence on the Embarcadero waterfront cannot be missed. A legendary restaurateur Pat Kuleto (designer and co-owner) used giant water tank and pump features in the interior of Epic. “Pat’s design reflects the rescue efforts of the city during the historical 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire,” said Pete Sittnick, managing partner, who greeted visitors at the front on the day we lunched. Floor to ceiling windows with dramatic views of the Bay Bridge and its vicinity, an outside terrace, a private dining room and a luxurious upstairs bar with even better views create a unique character of the place, grandiose and cozy at the same time. Jan Birnbaum, executive chef and co-owner, who started his 30-year career in New Orleans, served as head chef at San Francisco’s Campton Place Hotel among other distinguished venues. His chili squid salad with white beans, olives and tomato confit was a great starter, followed by an heirloom apple salad with California cheddar, cranberries, and curry roasted cashews, fresh and flavorful, if a bit overdressed. Beef tartare with parsley aioli, capers, and red onions, crowned with a raw quail egg, was brought to the table in an elegant boat dish, mixed, and served with toasts. A glass of Cooralook pinot noir (pairing by moi) served as a counterbalance for all the salt and spice, especially pronounced in an Epic cassoulet, called on the menu “beans that make you crazy.” An avid salter, I regretted not being able to use a display of three salts on the table—fleur de sel, pink, and black from Hawaii. The latter was also used in caramel ice cream dessert, and that was a perfect dessert indeed. Epic Roasthouse is open seven days a week, and serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch on both days. Located at 369 The Embarcadero. Call for reservations 415-369-9955 or online Visit for more information.


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