Ritz Bar rolls out ‘small bites’ menu

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ron Siegel, chef of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, has downsized his menu for the Ritz Bar, one of the hotel’s most intimate settings, with a “small bites” menu and an extensive list of wines by the half bottle.

The team: Wine director and sommelier Stephane Lacroix pulled together a list of 111 half bottles from $18 to $340, to pair with Siegel’s French- and Japanese-inspired cuisine.

The cuisine: Siegel’s 64-degree quail egg with caviar and croutons comes to the table on a plastic-covered glass bowl filled with cedar smoke. The server taps the plastic with a spoon to release a burst of cedar aroma that scents the entire dish. Among the other offerings: seared foie gras, a crispy chicken wing, tuna tartare and lobster risotto. For dessert, there are assorted sorbets, pot de creme, chocolate manjari caramel cake, panna cotta and artisanal cheeses. The bar also serves cocktails and wines by the glass.

The vibe: Casual, despite its English country-estate feel. Wood-paneled walls, comfortable leather club chairs and low lighting make for a cozy setting.

Ritz Bar, 600 Stockton St. (in the Ritz-Carlton), San Francisco; (415) 773-6168 or ritzcarltondiningroom.com. 6- 9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30- 9:30 Friday- Saturday. Small bites, $7- $18. No reservations. Credit cards accepted.

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