Entering Sons & Daughters, the ambiance gives off an air like you are going to dine at a friend’s house. (That is of course if your friend was a Michelin starred chef). With just 28 seats, it is an intimate dining room that has been built around the open kitchen as the main focal point.
Despite all its success, Sons & Daughters has not been affected by it. The staff is congenial and knowledgeable. And the thoughtful touches like my name printed on the menu made the experience all the more personal.
The restaurant serves only a tasting menu, which highlights the fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits from its garden in Los Gatos and the creativity of its chefs – Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty. There are some real strokes of brilliance throughout the evening. Each course was meticulously plated and built upon the previous.
If I had to live on bread alone, I would want it to be Sons & Daughters. Its bread service is one of the finest around. While bread often seems like an afterthought or an obligatory offering at most restaurants, Sons & Daughters has a well orchestrated program that has been thoughtfully woven into the tasting menu experience.
Throughout the evening we were treated to three variations. First, we had a cornbread toast dressed with flakes of salt that was served with creamy Straus butter combined with yogurt. Next, was a brioche roll made with ricotta and brightened with Meyer lemon. Rounding out the bread service was a soft pretzel roll.
Another highlight of the evening was the roasted red and golden baby beet salad. The plating had a rustic feel with vadouvan spices piled on the plate and lightly dressed with herbs. It reminded me of a garden from which these vegetables came from. The spices are balanced out by the dollops of Greek yogurt, which is a perfect pairing for the earthiness of the beets.
I was equally impressed Fogline Farm chicken. Personally, I find chicken to be a really challenging dish, because no matter how well executed, it can be hard to make people re-imagine something as commonplace as chicken. Served with greens and pickled radishes, Sons & Daughters manages to defy the odds by creating a memorable and tasty dish.
There is a great deal of attention to detail being observed at Sons & Daughters — from the service down to each and every dish. All of it masterfully culminates in a memorable evening.
Check out the slideshow for the complete tasting menu.
Visit Sons & Daughters at 708 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108