Related Articles: Restaurants, All


Home pays Homage to Comfort Classics

Within any melting pot of cultures, diversity is bound to be present. And diversity, my friends, can be a good thing especially when it comes to food and, in this case, comfort food. In San Francisco in particular, one's idea of comfort food may differ greatly from his neighbors. To me, a midwestern transplant, comfort food equals mac and cheese and pot pies. To a person of Indian descent, a spicy curry might be the first thing that comes to mind. To a friend of Latino descent, any dish containing pork and chiles would most certainly do the trick. So where to go to make everyone happy? Where else, other than Home. And with the recent kitchen take-over by former sous chef, Jeff Banker, expect things to get even more diverse at Home.

Banker, who took over the reins after former head chef Lance Dean Velasquez departed for more eastern pastures, is breathing new life into the eclectic menu. You'll still find old favorites like the decadent macaroni and cheese ($5.75), thick-cut Meyers Ranch hamburger ($8.95), and oh-so-satisfying pot roast with horseradish cream ($14.95). Banker, however, is broadening the menu by adding not only more "American" style dishes, like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy ($10.95) and chicken noodle soup ($4.95), but many culturally diverse dishes as well, such as the red curry & coconut milk vegetable stew ($8.95), and the always popular (in England at least) fish & chips ($12.95). Some dishes need a little work, such as the pappardelle with mushrooms ($10.95), which was begging for just a touch more truffle oil, and the flat iron steak with french fries ($15.95) which tasted delightful but was plated in such a way that I was left asking, where's the color? A word of advice: garnish.

Desserts are as comfort-y as comfort can be, and the pastry chef responsible for such delights as banana bread pudding with bourbon sauce and a fudge brownie sundae with "home"made mint chocolate chip ice cream (both $6) is none other than the wife of the head chef himself. How fitting in a restaurant that revolves around the concept of home.

The restaurant is divided up into two rooms: the main dining area, which is reminiscent of an upscale diner with lots of whites and blacks and the Back Porch, an area complete with roaring fireplace and communal tables which has a decidedly more cozy feel.

And what of the potent potables? Again, Home aims to please everyone. With nightly $3 drink specials (Cosmos on Wednesdays, Martinis on Thursdays, you get the picture), you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal in the city. The wine list is also very well thought-out and varied, and includes a selection of Old World and New World vintages.

Look for further changes on the menu, as Banker takes us to new heights of "upscale" comfort. When asked what his overall goal was in reforming the menu to his liking, he was brief in his response: he's trying to do things "like mom used to do". And to him I would say, "Mom would be proud."

Additional notes: Home offers an "Early Bird Special" ($10.99) each night from 5pm - 6pm, which includes a salad, an entrée, a dessert, and a glass of wine (oh the value!). They also offer a brunch every Sunday from 11am - 2pm, complete with a build-your-own-Bloody Mary bar. Comfort has never been so fun!