Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

April 2, 2011 11:54 AM

Restaurant: Anchor & Hope

Anchor & Hope

83 Minna Street (Btwn 1st&2nd Sts)
San Francisco, California
Anchor & Hope was recommended to Debbie and me, by the concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel, as a good restaurant within easy walking distance. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

The exterior of the restaurant is non-descript. The interior of the restaurant looks like an old barn with painted plywood floors. The 100-year old building has had a variety of uses, including as a mechanics’ warehouse, a fire station, and an artists’ studio. The restaurant has been there for about 3 years.

As you enter, there are tables to right and left, and a long bar to the far left with 13 high chairs. There is a continuous wooden bench along the opposite wall with tables that seat various numbers. The tables can be moved to accommodate anything from parties of 2 to an almost endless number. We were flanked on each side by two groups of four. In total, the restaurant seats about 85 people. The tables are quite close and the whole scene is very loud.

The pre-dinner bread course is an Epinard served in a brown paper bag.

Debbie started with Crispy Eggplant Rock Shrimp Squid, Bienville Stuffing and Tomatillo Sauce. For her main course she chose Lobster Dungeness Crab and Potato Gnocchi with Lobster Foam.

I opted to begin with Seared Scallops with Mustard Greens and Kohlrabi in Apple Miso Broth. My second course was a Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon, Root Vegetables and Mushrooms. When I placed my order the waiter warned me that our dinners would be slow in coming because the chicken pot pies are cooked from raw. Often, chicken pot pies are partially cooked in advance and then heated up when they are ordered. These were not pre-cooked.

The serving plates for the hot food were piping hot and the chicken pot pie was so hot that I had to let it cool for a bit. When I first cut through the top crust, steam rushed out.

Both of us enjoyed our meals.

There is a separate, extended, menu of 92 bottle and draft beers. I had a draft called “Damnation Ale” from the Russian River Brewing Company.

We had a reservation, but it is clearly a place where people come for dinner and/or drinks after work. As the evening wore on, the line of folks waiting to come in and be seated wound out the front door and down the street. We were the oldest people in the restaurant by 25-35 years.

The men’s room floor is covered with large grey tiles. The walls are covered by small grey tiles. There are two washbasins and a single urinal with a partial metal wall, open at the top and bottom, separating them. There is a large commode area, also enclosed with partial metal walls. There are, in that area, a number of well-placed wall bars for those who might need special assistance. In the open area of the restaurant there are a number of red and white circular life preservers hanging on the walls at about shoulder height.

Anchor & Hope is clearly worth trying.

Return to Home Page