San Francisco’s RN74 is named after the Route Nationale 74, a highway that runs through the Burgundy region of France. True to its moniker, the restaurant takes inspiration from the area’s famous wine and cuisine (think duck and escargot). At the same time, however, RN74 is fiercely influenced by the local bounty of the Bay Area from the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.
“I think that’s the beauty of this restaurant,” says Executive Chef Michael Lee Rafidi. Since he took the reins of the kitchen in 2015, he’s evolved the menu so that it has the experience of a traditional French bistro but also feels distinctly San Francisco. “We’re two blocks from the farmers’ market — it’s very market-driven. There’s nothing on the menu, besides one or two dishes, that’s on the menu all year round.”
We asked Rafidi all about his approach to honoring traditional regional cuisine while letting local, seasonal product drive the menu — here are his tips. [Read more…]