Canteen

Cafes , International Cafe , Park Cafe , Tea House

Canteen is so teensy, and so homey, you'll want to tuck it under your arm and find a place for it in your apartment. It just might fit; Canteen already feels like home. On a recent visit, the Magnetic Fields were turned up loudly enough for us to make out each plaintive lyric. Flannery O'Conner had a place on the bookshelf beside my comfortable booth. Five feet to my left, chef and proprietor Dennis Leary, formerly of Rubicon, worked intensely behind the counter, shoulders rounded over the food he was crafting for the dozen or so diners who filled the restaurant.

The nice, compact wine list almost completely skips over California in favor of, well, nearly everywhere else. The menu, like the restaurant, is teensy: just four appetizers, four main courses, and three desserts. I wanted them all. Most menus would benefit from a paring down like this. -- Daniel Goldstein

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817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA

(415) 928-8870

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