Minimalistic and inviting with its monochromatic, French bistro-esque decor, Klyde at Hotel G near Union Square offers a new option for respite for those who make a holiday trudge to San Francisco’s clogged shopping artery this holiday season.
A self-proclaimed café and wine bar, Klyde offers more than 60 varieties of wine and breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour menus.
Chef Sam Fechheimer is familiar with the San Francisco food scene. After graduating from Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and cooking in the U.S, Paris and Hanoi, Vietnam, he spent some time working in Michael Minna’s restaurant group. A reflection of Fechheimer’s worldly experience, the menu casts a wide net around Mediterranean, all-American and French cuisine. In Klyde’s case, this ambition doesn’t mean missing the mark.
The small plates section, for example, delivered one hit after the other. The octopus is perfectly charred and spiced. The terrine and the pâté are decadent, especially when paired with chutney and crispy—at times too much—banquette slices. Another exciting pairing for with a glass of wine is plump shrimps, wrapped in modestly greased bacon. The proteins are balanced out with scarce, yet precise, dishes such as smoked eggplant, marinated olives and crunchy radishes and cucumbers.
The larger courses also show the chef’s intention to give straightforward items a touch of quality. The Nicoise salad, so often turned by restaurants into a non-descriptive pile crowned with canned tuna, excels with refreshing bites of olives, fresh albacore, and delicious marinated anchovies. The humble hamburger, Klyde, doesn’t disappoint either—it’s almost minimalist, lacking any trendy frills, simple and well made.
While the menu has plenty of dangerously rich desserts, the real sweet bonus of Klyde is the relaxed, adventurous vibe. Being on the hotel’s first floor, one gets to dine in a chic, sexy atmosphere, five minutes from Union Square. That, paired with an extensive wine list and a menu that respects the customer, makes Klyde a real gem around fake plastic rocks and tourist traps the linger nearby.
Photos courtesy of Klyde: