Speaking of fall: brussels sprouts have been on just about every menu I've seen since Labor Day, and they're on Starbelly's, too ($6). Here they're halved and pan-roasted with chunks of bacon until nicely caramelized at the edges. Bacon seems to be the consensus remedy for the palatability issue that haunts brussels sprouts, and a good roasting, whether in an oven or pan, has set right many a troublesome vegetable. A shot of lemon juice wouldn't have hurt here, for a final bit of zing.
The big plates are reasonably priced, mostly in the low to mid-teens; only lamb chops breaking the $20 barrier. The kitchen does offer what might be sly homage to Zuni Café: a half-chicken ($15), roasted on a rotisserie until sensuously tender and juicy, then plated with a spinach panzanella basically swirls of braised greens in a warm, savory bread pudding under a roasted-onion vinaigrette. It's not formally offered for two like the Zuni version, but it's ample enough to be quite shareable, especially if you've previously stocked up on some of the smaller plates.
Which undoubtedly you will have done, since at Starbelly, the path to a full belly is a winding one, with many delightful turn-outs and outlooks along the way. *
Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.11 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 a.m.midnight.
Brunch: Sat.Sun., 10:30 a.m.4 p.m.
Dinner: Sat., 4 p.m.midnight; Sun., 411 p.m.
3583 16th St., SF
Beer and wine
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