Written by and photos by Nadia Ibanez
Polk St. in Russian Hill is quickly becoming one of my go-to ‘hoods when I need a fun happy hour spot or place to grab a drink with my girlfriends. When I first moved into town, I’d start at the bottom of the hill, usually around Geary, and walk my way to the top around California St. to take in all of the sights, sounds and smells in the shopping and restaurant district. I recently discovered Reverb Kitchen & Bar (FKA Verbena), which opened in March 2015, and it’s quickly becoming a great neighborhood place for drinks and bites.
My friend and I visited after work one day and started our meal with a couple cocktails. You’ll absolutely love the natural lighting, exposed brick, leather bench seating and unique architectural wooden walls throughout the restaurant. If you’re a gin fan, check out the Clearer Conscience, a combination of gin, dry vermouth, cucumber, house-made thyme galangal syrup and soda. My girlfriend had the Monk of Guadalajara, a blend of tequila, st. germain, yellow chartreuse, lime and blackberry. Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. so make sure you go early to try these cocktails and more. Craft beers and a wide selection of wines are also available.
Our server brought out some complimentary kale popcorn to enjoy with our cocktails and it perfectly complemented the herbaceousness of our drinks. We also shared the Cheese Plate, which was a beautiful spread of three types of chesses, toffied pistachios, honeycomb, apricot and crunchy, buttery bread. Don’t forget to check out the Charcuterie or the Fried Green Tomatoes if you’re still hungry.
There are quite a few lighter fare items on the menu like an Asparagus Soup or a Squash & Sunflowers salad. But let’s get real and order like big girls. We went for the Brandt Family Ranch Burger and the Corn Puddin’. The burger was served with white cheddar, aioli, house-made ketchup, pickles and a side of sweet potato fries. The “puddin'” was a plate of jerk shrimp served on a bed of pasta, yellow corn and popcorn. The dish was adventurous and is ideal for those who order their food on the wildside. Other entrees that were making their rounds around the restaurant were the Fried Chicken & Amaranth Waffle and the Charred Prime Flat Iron Steak.
In true form, we saved room for dessert and went for the Brioche Donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a passion fruit nectarine coulis and ricotta cream. The flower garnish was plucked from the rooftop garden. (How cool is that!?)
Thank you Reverb for allowing us to check out your restaurant! You guys have to check it out if you’re in the area. For more information, visit www.reverbsf.com.