Chef Joey Elenterio (Wayfare Tavern, Chez TJ) is serving a progressive American menu, which you can explore as a four-course dinner for $49 (the house applies tax and auto gratuity of 20 percent, making the total cost just under $64 per person) in the reservation-only dining room (you book your seat via Tock on the website), or order off the à la carte menu in the bar area and at the communal tables, which ranges from appetizers to full-size dishes, and dessert.
The prix-fixe menu offers two options, either a vegetarian menu or one featuring seafood and meat. You’ll be presented with an amuse-bouche, a first course (on the vegetarian menu, the roasted baby carrots feature a range of textures, temperatures, and pops of flavor from pickled walnuts and wild rice aioli), a pasta course (either delicate hand-cut fettuccine with turnip beurre fondue and persillade, or wintery rabbit agnolotti in a roasted garlic jus with celery root milk), a main course (which includes grass-fed rib eye on the meaty menu), and one of the dessert courses included vanilla bean bavarian, banana pudding, chicory granité, and caramelized banana gelée—it was like a zhooshed up version of my childhood fave of banana pudding with Nilla wafers. Plating is very considered, and you’ll run through a variety of different dish styles through your meal.
The tiled bar in the back features cocktails from Chase Williamson (Maven, Prospect, Nopa)—there are some communal tables as well where you can post up. You’ll note many culinary elements in the cocktails ($13 each); a good one to start with is the Nectar, with Krogstad aquavit, sarsaparilla honey, lime, and cava. You can look at the wine list here, which has a focus on old world—you’ll find some well-priced selections and some splurges too (because, tech).
The 100-seat restaurant is pushing a look that differs from many others (G. Paoletti Design Lab is behind the design)—it has a loungy feeling, with eye-catching round “teacup” booths that will be the coveted seats for sure. There’s no missing the booths in the middle of the room with faux fur backs and look like they’re enclosed with Flintstone-sized wood ribs. Tables along the wall are backed with golden rods that put off a gentle twinkling light, and an upholstered banquette runs underneath. Lights are kept low, and the upbeat soundtrack keeps things energetic.
Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. 1446 Market St. at Polk, 415-851-8561.
The bar at Cadence. Photo by Tory Putnam.