but the bread itself (French, not sourdough) was wonderfully soft and warm, and when we ran through the first basket, we were brought another.
Lamb chops ($24.50) really a rack of lamb, with each rib bone carefully frenched) were rubbed with herbs and roasted to the rare side of medium-rare, then plated with a whirl of well-seasoned, creamy mashed potatoes, a thicket of wilted broccoli rabe, and several mysterious, leathery hemispheres we guessed might be dried, pitted cherries.
A more fanciful preparation was a plate of pork medallions ($16) a trio of what I took to be slices of roasted loin, each arrayed in a haybed of sauerkraut on a platform of russet potato. These layerings were set on the plate pointing outward, like the petals of a flower, while around the edges a country-mustard sauce had been napped. It all seemed naggingly familiar, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I was halfway through: it was a rethinking of choucroute, the warming and highly sustaining dish of Alsace.
Then on to Vienna for some strudel ($6) apple, of course, studded with raisins and topped with a scoop or two of ice cream (for a buck extra per scoop). Strudel is the ultimate pastry experience of Mitteleuropa, but it was brought (along with coffee) by the Turks and is a version of phyllo, like its Middle Eastern cousin baklava. City Grill's strudel is golden and puffy and could stand on its own without any fruit or ice cream, just a bit of butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Maybe a splash of coffee, or espresso, to wash it down. No matter how American we are, the world is always with us. *
Dinner: Tue.Sat., 5:30 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m.
Brunch: Sat.Sun., 9 a.m.
4123 24th St., SF
Beer and wine