Review: First Crush, San Francisco

We went to First Crush for dinner on a Monday night around 7:00. This small restaurant was almost full and really bustling. There were exactly two tables left, so had we waited any longer we would have been out of luck. I chose this restaurant because I love tasting things: I love wine flights, small plates, and California cuisine, so this restaurant seemed right up my alley.

The noise level was pretty high here. The acoustics seemed bad in the restaurant, so all the voices of all the people just bounced around and around, and a couple of people who had been enjoying lots of wine were especially loud and annoying. Our table was almost uncomfortably close to the couple next to us, so if you need to have a private conversation, this isn’t your place. I had been out sight-seeing all day, so I was fine with the “liveliness” of First Crush, but my husband had a long day of back-to-back meetings, and he was having a hard time unwinding here. We each ordered a flight of wine in hopes that it would make the noise less bothersome. I ordered the Sexy Gal, a flight of sauvignon blanc for $16, and my husband ordered the Pleasure of Pinot ($19), giving us the opportunity to taste six different wines. The wine list at First Crush includes 200 bottles, so there should be something for everyone here.

The dinner menu was awesome, with lots of good choices for me. (I don’t eat red meat or pork, but love seafood and veggie dishes.) The small plates ranged in price from $15 – $20, and we ordered four plates to share. First up was a trio of roasted beets with goat cheese, citrus, pistachios, and a nice, light dressing. Fritto Misto came up next: fried calamari and rock shrimp with a little jalapeño and onion. It was very good, with a nice light breading, although it was extremely light on the rock shrimp and mostly calamari. Blackened Brussels sprouts were delicious, and Jorge raved about the Cabernet-marinated lamb lollipops. Most of the small plates ranged from $15 – $20, and ditto for the wine flights.

All of the dishes were beautifully plated, and everything tasted superb. Service was just fine. I knocked off one heart for the noise level, but the food and wine get five.

First Crush
101 Cyril Magnin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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