People who leave small towns to make it big are often warned they can't go home again, but that's usually just because, by the time they come back, their old house is a Chili's To Go. Happy to see his isn't knee-deep in skillet queso, the chef behind RN74.
Opened by a Michelin Star'd chef who grew up in Ellensburg, this 172-seat version of his SF original is staffed by a heavily credentialed crew (Golden Beetle, Cafe Juanita, Tilth, etc.) that's serving up a vino-centric menu of locally sourced seasonal Frog-foods in a brick/ leather/ steel-heavy space that resembles the booziest train station you've ever seen, and is named for the route "through the heart of Burgundy", which presumably goes down, down into his belly. Sustenance kicks off with starters (chopped-to-order Painted Hills Steak Tartare w/ quail egg, watercress & rosemary frites); bar eats (Taylor Mussel Soufflé w/ saffron cream); and a selection of Champagne-supplemented oysters including Samish Bay's European Flats and Blue Pool from Hood Canal, which is also what Noriega wanted to call the Panama one for a time during the '90s when he was listening to a lot of Noreaga. They've also got mains like an Anderson Ranch Lamb Cassoulet w/ braised neck, roasted garlic & confit tongue, and a Liberty Farms duck breast/ Hudson Valley foie gras combo w/ farro, rainbow swiss chard & bing cherries that must be easy to pop because they're so damn (Micro)soft.
The entire menu's meant to compliment their 80-strong wine list (including 35 by the glass/taste through a custom-made enomatic machine) presented via flipping plaques/ changing lights on two boards resembling antique railway arrival/ departure schedules -- the "market board" boasting food-appropriate vintages, and one showing wines that're down to the "last bottle", though if you end up taking that down too, and you want to get home again, it better be a Cab.
Timothy DeLaGhetto and David So Hit Up the Taste of Little Italy Food Festival