We love Chestnut Street in San Francisco’s hip Marina District. The restaurants and shops are always very active and the people watching is great. We recently learned that the popular Dorian restaurant at the corner of Chestnut and Fillmore had added Brunch so we knew we’d better check it out! It was an unusually warm and sunny winter day and even though the Marina was quite crowded, we found a parking space within a block of our destination.
The Dorian has a fun upbeat atmosphere and was packed on this late Sunday morning. The décor designed by Shelly Amoroso, reminds you of a Victorian home at the turn of the 20th century with a modern edge. There is a Study area with “family portraits” and shelves with antique books, an ornate Bar and a large Dining Room with beautiful crystal chandeliers. These design elements are very unique transporting you to a previous era, with a current twist. We were seated in the main dining room where we had a full view up Fillmore to the San Francisco Bay. We were told about the specials by our server then perused the focused brunch menu created by Executive Chef Chris Ricketts who is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy with classic French training.
Naturally, a Bloody Mary made with their house made Dorian Mary mix and fresh lemon was our first priority. It was quite spicy which is just how we like it! We started our brunch with fresh raw Oysters on the half shell, which were presented in a silver bowl accompanied by red mignonette sauce and fresh lemon in a squeeze bottle. Both the Miyagi Pacific Northwest and Buckley Bay Vancouver Island oysters were fantastic and perfectly chilled. Next, we enjoyed their simply delicious Deviled Eggs. They kept it simple and were topped with a small piece of bacon which added to the lovely presentation. We tried a few “entrees” as well. The Shrimp & Crab Cake Sliders with arugula and malt vinegar were light and right sized and had a true crab flavor, as they were not over-sauced. The “Cure All” Flatbread with Sunnyside up eggs, ribeye steak, aged cheddar cheese, and Dorian hot sauce was also delicious, beautiful and a very hearty portion that could be shared. We chatted with our neighbors at the next table, who loved their Cast-Iron Chicken Hash with sweet potato, poblano peppers and Sunnyside-up egg.
We enjoyed wines by the glass with our brunch. The 2014 Tangent Edna Valley, CA. Sauvignon Blanc was lively, crisp and had citrus notes and the 2014 Soter Oregon Pinot Noir paired perfectly with the Flatbread and was more full bodied than most Pinots and perfect for our taste.
Be sure to ask for the dessert menu. You will be glad you did! The Butterscotch Pudding with vanilla bean whipped cream was light and just wonderful, as was the Banana Walnut Ice Cream! We enjoyed piping hot, fresh coffee with the desserts.
The Dorian serves an excellent brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM -3 PM and was very busy the Sunday that we dined. They also serve dinner nightly, have a fun weekday Happy Hour and their Dorian Whiskey Society has events the first Wednesday of every month. We had a great time and look forward to returning soon.
By Carol & Joe Davis
2001 Chestnut Street (at Fillmore St.)
San Francisco, CA. 94123