A Little BIX Of Heaven

Sometimes the best discoveries are made in the most unassuming alleys. That was certainly the case for Bix Restaurant! It’s located in Jackson Square on Gold Street, a narrow walkway sandwiched between charming old brick buildings. To know that you are heading in the right direction, walk towards a tiny neon sign that reads “Bix”…

Bix Restaurant alley entrance

Bix Restaurant alley entrance

Greeted with live jazz music the moment we walked in, this elegant 1930’s themed restaurant was full of surprises! The large, two-story, dimly-lit dining space was decorated with artwork, dark woods, plush booths, and perfectly polished silverware. If you happen to look up you will find amazingly beautiful crown molding, a true SF trademark. To the right of the entrance was a long and grand bar, a perfect place for us to grab a drink while we waited for the remainder of our group to trickle in after work. There was nothing “trendy” about this place, and we loved every classic detail.

Bix Restaurant is known for its live jazz music.

Bix Restaurant is known for its live jazz music

On this particular adventure we dined with our favorite group of French friends. Since most of them only had a limited amount of time in the city, we decided to show them what we know best – delicious food.

Dining with old and new friends visiting from France

Dining with our new French friends

To start the meal, we ordered “Potato Pillows” to share, or as Angie likes to say, “for the table”. Potato Pillows are lightly fried potatoes topped with crème fraîche and caviar. Needless to say, and as you can probably judge by the photograph, it was quite tasty. To put it in elementary terms, they were like a richer, classier, and tastier version of tater tots.

Potato Pillows with Crème Fraîche and American Caviar, $15

Potato Pillows with Crème Fraîche and American Caviar ($15)

Following the potatoes, we had the Steak Tartare, numero 92 on our list. The dish was prepared tableside by our waiter who mixed the raw beef with shallots, capers, parsley and mustard. Our eyes lit up with excitement as our waiter set the dish on the table. Without wasting much time, we tasted the tartare and loved it. One of our visitors exclaimed that it was very good, a huge compliment considering that his grandfather has a restaurant in Italy where he makes the best foods using the freshest ingredients. As you can imagine, this friend of ours has high standards when it comes to food!

We recommend ordering this dish if you ever find yourself at Bix, especially if you are a steak tartare fan. If you have never had raw beef, we definitely recommend trying it because, well, there’s a first for everything!

Steak Tartare with Shallots, Capers, Parsley and Mustard, Prepared Tableside, $15

Steak Tartare with Shallots, Capers, Parsley and Mustard, Prepared Tableside ($15)

The Black Truffle Cheese Burger came highly recommended. It was perfectly cooked and of course, the truffle made everything just that much better.

Black Truffle Cheese Burger served open face on Rye with Truffle Fries, $28

Black Truffle Cheese Burger served open face on Rye with Truffle Fries ($28)

The Lobster Spaghetti was served with cherry tomatoes, jalapeños and basil. The spaghetti was al dente, the lobster was amazingly sweet and generously portioned, and the sauce was light yet flavorful. A must-try if you are in the mood for pasta, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Lobster Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Jalapeños and Basil, $34

Lobster Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Jalapeños and Basil ($34)

To top off the meal, our waiter brought us coconut pineapple sorbet. Just the right amount of sweetness to finish another great dinner with great French company.

Coconut pineapple sorbet

Coconut pineapple sorbet

This city is truly filled with so many opportunities to enjoy the good life! Bix Restaurant is another example of this because we were able to enjoy a delicious meal in a great atmosphere with a diverse group of friends. Although our ultimate goal is to taste all 100 dishes on the 7×7 list, we promise that we’ll never forget to enjoy the journey. Cheers, the Duo.

2011 Birgit Eichinger, Riesling, $52

2011 Birgit Eichinger, Riesling ($52)

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Sunday at b. Patisserie

Hello friends!

Heaps of thanks, hugs, and fist bumps for all of the support and joining us on each adventure that we seem to get ourselves into. We truly appreciate the love as we have certainly been discovering many quirks and twists within San Francisco that make it wonderful and want nothing more than to share some of this delicious goodness with you. Like most things, our blog is a never-ending-work-in-progress and we have decided… dun dun dun… to incorporate both of our perspectives into one- The Duo’s. From this point on, our posts will have both of our flavors swirled into one! We hope you will enjoy this new change. Cheers!

b. Patisserie's freshly baked kouign amman

b. Patisserie’s freshly baked kouign amman

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Assortment of pastries

San Francisco seems to have an overabundance of trendy and hip bakeries and cafes, but it’s not often that you stumble across a traditional French bakery with a hint of California zest to it. Nestled in lower Pacific Heights in San Francisco, we have discovered b. Patisserie – the crème de la crème of bakeries. The moment you walk into the bakery, the aroma of freshly baked pains, pâtisseries and viennoiseries consumes your senses and instantaneously, all seems to be wonderful and right in the world.

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Partners/Chefs Michael Saus and Belinda Leong

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b. Patisserie’s open kitchen

Large inviting windows permit light to ease its way into the open kitchen, highlighting the smiles of customers of all ages who get to experience and enjoy the creations being made right in front of them. A stunning showcase of delectable treats wait patiently, ready to be devoured on platters atop beautiful marble countertops. It takes almost every ounce of self-control in your body to resist ordering just about everything.

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Kouign Amann

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Kouign Amann

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b. Patisserie’s Kouign Amann

We had come to b. Patisserie for the notorious kouign amman. Kouign amman hails from the Brittany region in France and is similar to a croissant in the sense that there are hundreds of incredibly thin layers of butter and pastry. The differences are that instead of using unsalted butter, salted butter is used and an added layer of sugar is folded in with each layer of butter. Every morsel of the flaky, buttery, and caramelized pastry was an exquisite treasure.

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Banana Chocolate Almond Croissant

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Chocolate Banana Almond Croissant and Kouign Amann

Some things are just better in pairs which is why we couldn’t just scoff the kouign amman unaccompanied, but had to order the chocolate banana almond croissant too. This croissant was equally as amazing. The moment you broke through the layers of pastry, a gooey mixture of chocolate and banana seeped out, unveiling an incredible synthesis of flavors. We had already consumed our morning brew so we decided to order a pot of jasmine tea that was the perfect complement to our sweet treats.

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Chef/Co-Partner Belinda Leong

We had the honor and privilege of meeting Belinda Leong, co-partner (alongside Michael Saus, the founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute) and head pastry chef who took time-out from baking to speak with us. The “b” in b. Patisserie stands for “Belinda” but many of her friends, family, and regular customers call her “B.” We were in complete awe of her vision, passion, and motivation. She said that she wanted to “create elegant pastries in an open and inviting space where people can comfortably hang out while eating high quality pastries.” She is also an esteemed James Beard nominee for “Outstanding Pastry Chef,” which we wish her and the patisserie armfuls of good luck!

Chef Belinda's favorite is the pain levain!

Chef Belinda’s favorite is the pain levain!

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Fresh fleurs reside on each tabletop

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Fleurs on the countertops

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Macaroon Tree

From it’s elegant and refined design to the chic addition of fresh fleurs at every table and countertop, b. Patisserie is a jewelry box of beautiful pastries and wholesome goodness. You might leave a tad bit heavier but a whole lot happier! Until our next sweet spot…

xx,

The Duo

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2821 California St. @ Divisadero Street