(I was surprised to see the possibility of duck confit passed over by someone I had long understood to be an insatiable duck-confitista.)
The chicken-liver salad — buttery chunks of meat with the mildest breath of liver flavor, scattered like boulders across a meadow of mixed greens — might work a bit better at lunch, when less heft is desirable, at least for those who need to remain conscious for the remainder of the workday. (A friendly warning here: the garden, in good weather, provides an al fresco experience you might have some trouble pulling yourself away from.) I was disappointed to find no croque monsieur on the midday menu, but quiche lorraine ($9.50), an egg tart stuffed with ham and cheese, wasn't a bad substitute and was also served whole: a disk the size of one of those personal pizzas you can get at Roundtable.
Tart lovers of the sweet tooth variety will appreciate the tarte tatin, which at $4 is something of a steal and is also excellent — not the usual state of affairs for restaurant tartes tatins, too many of which have runny caramel and mushy apples. Le Charm's version features shapely hemispheres of firm fruit, bronzed and slightly translucent, as if formed from amber, along with viscous caramel and flaky pastry. The formula is simple, really (tarte tatin is much easier to make than ordinary, American-style apple pie), yet a well-made one never fails to charm. SFBG
Dinner: Tues.–Thurs., 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5:30–10 p.m.; Sun., 5–9 p.m.
Lunch: Mon.–Fri., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
315 Fifth St., SF
Beer and wine
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