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Twenty Four

If you're likely to eschew the throngs of Pac Bell Park, you might not have checked out the roomy, Art Deco cavern that is Twenty Four. On game day, the restaurant can be a zoo, but do a touch of research at www.sfgiants.com and swing by during an off day. You'll find Chef Christian Caiazzo's lovely California comfort food, high ceilings, relaxing booths and a sweeping view of Potrero Hill through the small bit of open space that still remains in China Basin. It's a fine place to tipple on a few well-mixed cocktails, nosh on a heaping shellfish platter or, if you're feeling Rat Pack-ish, lounge through a full-length meal, complete with haute apple pie and vintage port.

Chef Caiazzo brings to the table not only a friendly, easy-going demeanor, but also hot credentials; he's worked alongside Annie and David Gingrass of Hawthorne Lane and Joseph Manzare of Globe. Although Twenty Four's location may scream "sports bar," you'll find that the cuisine is more in line with San Francisco's smaller bistros. Fresh seasonal and local ingredients are prepared using the revised French techniques that have made Cali cuisine so famous; on a given night you might indulge in something light and artful like roasted monkfish in verjus with favas, peas, ramps and morels. Then again, should you desire something more burly, there are plenty of wood-fired, spit-roasted, stewed and grilled meats from which to choose, all dressed in inventive sides and sauces.

When you're in the mood for high-end fare but you're not really looking forward to braving the hipster crowds at smaller bistros, try Twenty Four; it may just hit the spot.