The Bon Marche Brasserie in San Francisco serves up classic French bistro cooking in a chic and modern setting.
At Bon Marche, there is a prix fix menu, or you can choose items à la carte. The wide selection of starters includes oysters, French onion soup, a charcuterie plate, crispy soft shell crab and a croque monsieur. The main courses are braised veal breast, dayboat scallops, roast pork loin, raviolo of brandade and duck breast. At Bon Marche, there are a number of desserts such as peach tart tatin and modern baked Alaska flambé. You also have the option of adding wine pairings.
Had a wonderful dinner at this restaurant in June. Now, 2 months later and it was as if I stepped into a completely different place. We were so put off by the high prices, decreased choices and pretentiousness of the waitress that we left and did not have dinner. In addition, I find it hard to believe that 2 cocktails, ( and they were small) ,should cost $34 . If I had failed to check my bill we would have added a tip when a 20% tip was already included.................
Great location because it was close to the Orpheum theater, fun to see the Market Place
Go on a weekend it's perfect! Not crowded! Food is awesome!
The decor is not at the level of the food, nor is the service. I resent to be automatically charged a 20% service charge, especially when service was below the level of expectation for a menu of these prices.
Terribke lunch time service. Only one waiter, our group of seven was in a hurry and the waiter didn't even get us drinks or take our order for almost 15 minutes during a business lunch. I regret that there was an automatic service charge due to size as I would not have tipped at all. I will not return there for a business lunch.
We had a five course meal with wine pairing and it was just scrumptious and beautifully prepared and presented.
Many times I have had lunch at Bon Marche & have been pleased. My first time for dinner was a great disappointment. My multi-course menu with paired wines was a disaster.
The soft shell crab was anything but soft & I could not eat most of it.
The veal was pink and so tough I struggled to cut it. I noticed another diner having a difficult time of it as well.
The wine for the 2nd course finally came after I had eaten the course. It was meant to be had with the course, not after. The server delivered the wine with the statement that the wine was late in coming without any apology.
I have since read that the restaurant space is for sale. That in itself should be a great warning to diners. Sorry to see one of my favorite restaurants die!
We had been to Bon Marche many times and loved it but this time was a disappointment. The waitress mentioned they were transitioning - to what - 2 entries on the menu? It was clear the restaurant wanted you to order prix fixe, and if one did not, one was sunk. For example, I asked for a simple salad (not); asked for ramps (were out of season - really, onions out of season). While the food was good, the choices were not appealing. I had the veal - the ris de veau were a nice touch, but too little too late. We don't think we'll be coming back until the restaurant transitions to a better menu with more side dishes.
This was a return dining experience but it turned into a big disappointment. I almost fell over when told the corkage charge was $35. There are only 3 main items on the menu: you could either order 'a la carte' or the prix fixe ($50) for one each of starters, mains, etc. Everything was more expensive than I remembered from my last visit.
The Poached egg was mostly a raw egg with some croutons in some brown liquid. The braised veal breast was meat sandwiched between layers of fat; yuk! The deserts were good. I had fond memories of the previous times I've eaten here but don't think I'll return unless there is a new menu, and/or a new chef.
I used to really like this place. Unfortunately, things have changed. We sat at the bar , opened the drink menu and were told, "We don't serve house cocktails anymore." We were told, "We're simplify things. A glance at the food menu showed the old choices were gone,. There were also only 3 appetizer and 3 entrée choices, none of which really sounded that appetizing. A friend waited about 15 minutes for his cocktail even though only about 3 tables were occupied on a Friday night at 7 pm.
We ordered a bottle of Peay Pinot Noir. A glass into the bottle, we noticed that we were actually given a bottle of Syrah. Interesting.... Next the food came out. Posive: friends loved the soft shell crab. Sadly, the 2 goat cheese salads appeared to not have met a single salt crystal or pepper. An order of the veal was a dull grey color and was under seasoned. Next the "poached egg" arrived. It had a solid yolk. The replacement egg arrived in a jiffy, but was in the same condition. Everyone at the table remarked it felt like this place was going to close soon.
Spoke the the "manager". We provided feedback about the experience and how we used to enjoy the place. We received a condescending reply. First, we were told the eggs are poached "a different way." He then basically said, "I'm sorry things are not to your liking." We were all surprised as we had exchanged jokes when we were seated. Anyway, it's sad to see such a decline in a place we used to enjoy about once a month. We will not be going back.
We came for the prix fixe dinner menu with soft shell crab and enjoyed all of courses. The only disappointment was that there was no bartender that evening, so the cocktail options were limited. The portions were very generous and the snack course of housemade charcuterie was excellent (pate, candied kumquat, caviar, etc.). The scallops were cooked beautifully and the veal was also wonderful. Our waitress was very friendly and the pace of the meal was perfect. There were only a few other tables of diners which makes for a quiet dinner. The tables are not jammed together (like Delfina or Frances). Hopefully business will pick up, so they stay open. The location is perfect for dining before a show at the Orpheum or Strand.
Very limited menu, terrible music, adequate servers at best. Not sure how you can stay in business with this combination.
Adding to the recurring theme. Without any notification, they only offered a 4-course fixed menu of obscure dishes. We didn't have the time or inclination for that, so we left. And they made no attempt to stop us. Lousy experience.
Bait and switch. The food and service were excellent. However, we were not informed until our arrival that there was no a la carte option (as shown on the website.) Thus, what was to have been a reasonably (for SF) priced meal became extremely expensive and unexpected. No complaints about the food but we had zero options for our meal. Glad we all eat seafood.
This restaurant is close to the theaters so we hoped we had found a good place to go. However the menu which is very limited offered very small portions at very large prices. The quality of the food was good but for those prices? Our martinis were small. I suggest they review their menu and increase the size of their courses.
We had dined at Bon Marche before and enjoyed it quite a bit, so returned for a pre-theatre dinner.
To our surprise, a "Champagne Menu" dinner was the only selection on offer (not stated on Open Table when we reserved). Only a handful of tables were occupied (even when we departed shortly before 8 pm) and it appeared that there was only one waitress on duty -- who took almost 15 minutes to get around to greeting us.
The bartender "was new," and incapable of mixing any of the drinks on the cocktail menu.
The food was actually uniformly quite good -- so even though we had no choice in the menu (other than choosing not to eat it!) we both enjoyed the food itself quite a lot. The manager was also quite solicitous and apologized several times to us for the slow service as well as comping us some tastings of the sparkling wines for the evening.
So, a decent amount to like, but at the same time really dismal underlying service quality control issues. I'm doubtful that Bon Marche will survive from what we saw -- unless their weekday lunch business is so strong that they can make ends meet from that. It's not the location -- another restaurant/bar in the same building (and without street frontage) was doing a booming business when we walked by to get to the rest rooms.
I was not expecting a set 5 course menu and I was not expecting it to be eaten within the hour before running to the symphony. The casual café look is very different from the fine dining experience the restaurant is experimenting with this month.
Service couldn't have been better or more accommodating. The food was excellent. The experience was as surprising as was the check.
I would not pick this location for a gourmet experience. It is a great location for the pre-performance crowd but not the right menu.
First we were surprised to get a Menu Prix Fix with possibility of à la carte but there were only 4 choices plus one dessert! My adult son and I opted for à la carte hoping to reduce cost. Mistake. We ordered the charcuterie plate which was fine. My son ordered spaghetti with champagne sauce (good) but got a small portion. Then we ordered "foie gras" as the entrée, thinking it would be a cooked foie gras but were served a small cold portion which was not great tasting. However the rhubarb worked well with it. My son was still hungry so he ordered salmon and lentils after the initial order, which was good and an average portion. I had the only dessert on the menu which was nice. We were shocked to end up paying $175.00 for two (tip and 3 drinks included).
The service was good. The decor is a bit sterile...but that is the new trend. To resume: Menu too short, portions too small, food alright overall, but prices way too high. We will not come back.
Awesome all around.
This restaurant is positioned so that theatre goers to the Strand have somewhere to go. I was not that impressed with the food. Certainly not impressed with the portions....had to eat again when we got home. The interior is too sterile too big for the food....French Bistro....it is not a match.
Even with a small amount of diners, there was an echo. The restaurant is housed in an open type mall, and the ceilings are high. Not conducive to private conversation.
For being recommended the mussels - I how super high expectations and I was disappointed.
Slow service - that is ok - but when we ask a question - actually several - and the waiter says 'I don't know' and doesn't come back - that's a problem!
When they don't know what the special of the day is. When they don't know the prices of the wine by the bottle. And when the service is so slow that we had to leave without having time to eat the prix fixe desert - that's a problem. Small portions, high prices, slow and careless service. San Francisco has too many good places to make this a return visit.
made reservations and arrived on time, people pleasant but service slow. had to flag down to place order, get water, bread, ask for bill. Steak Tartare very good, steamed mussels really good, lardon frisee salad, very good. I would go back again but they have to keep in mind, some folks have to get back to work within 90 min.
Exquisite food and an amazing environment. Don't love the neighborhood but this is one diamond in the rough!!!!
The service and each plate showed the same care and dedication to quality. The hostess greeted us warmly and with a gracefully expressed acknowledgement of a special request made at the time of our reservation.
Our waiter was knowledgeable regarding the menu and provided good suggestions for pairings.
We enjoyed each of the dishes we selected; but two were particular favorites: the salmon éclair (a starter of smoked salmon with crème fraiche) and the asparagus salad (beautiful, fresh, perfectly cooked in a preparation that showed originality).
We were attending a play at the Golden Gate theatre and so had some time constraints. Our reservation was for 6 PM and curtain was at 8PM. Bon Marche timed our meal perfectly so that we were able to walk at a comfortable pace to the theatre and arrive with ten or fifteen minutes to show time.
If you want to make your night out at Golden Gate Theatre, Orpheum or the Strand even more special, Bon Marche is an excellent choice for dinner.
Most of the food we got was just okay. The burger and fries were good. We won't be back.
Our client suggested the place. I arrived @ 11:45am on a Thurs. Empty at the time. Very nice place and felt spacious unlike most SF restaurants. Pass noon started getting busier. Our waitress was very nice and sweet. Food was fantastic. Not a cheap place that's for sure. I'd go back if in the area for sure.
Every single dish I have had here is fantastic. I particularly enjoy the seared duck liver and the rotating varietals of the gnocchi. It is the best gnocchi I have ever tasted. Every single desert I have had is uniquely flavored, even more common deserts, such as the cardamom flavored creme brûlée.
Excellent dining. Menu is unique Service was excellent We always split entries and that was done for us. They got us out on time so we could attend ballet Will return
Although our reservation indicated that this was a pre-theatre reservation, and the restaurant
reconfirmed this by phone and we reiterated our schedule with the hostess and our server,
our meals we not served! A soup/appetizer course was served and entrees never appeared.
And they presented us with a bill. I went without any food as I ordered only an entree that
was not served before we needed to depart for theatre at the previously designated time.
This should never have happened.
Very nice place before going to The Orphaem or The Golden Gate theaters. Food was very good, and the service was excellent. I have gone here 2 times and was not disappointed.
GREAT find- welcome addition near theatres, symphony and opera. wonderful food, attentive yet un-intrusive service- our server never interrupted the conversation among our group of 4 and took great care of us!
My second time dining here, but the first for lunch, two lukewarm bowls of onion soup (one each for my colleague and me) started the meal off on the wrong foot. The cheese had solidified into a thick, rubbery mat which was not very appetizing. A French bistro that can't serve a decent bowl of onion soup should not be supported. This place needs to step up their game if they're going to survive in this town.
SINCE MY REVIEW OF BON MARCHE THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW FOR SALE
San Francisco is having a problem finding good waiters so it was no surprise that the service was not as good as it should be, so have pity on the owners!
The waiter was very poor at communicating with me which resulted in a drink that I did not order delivered to the table. When presented with the bill I discovered (after leaving the restaurant) that I had been charged for grape fruit juice that I did not order, $4. There was a huge cultural gap with the man. With the noise environment I suggest extreme caution. I have had good service with other servers. I will know better next time I visit.
Food was good, though the 2 course prix fixe menu had meat which was a bit too much for my taste. One course with meat would have been better to my taste.
One bad experience will not deter me from returning to Bon Marche as it is too good a restaurant to not return.
We chose the prix fixe as we were pressed for time (Symphony performance) and it seemed like a good value. However, I would not not recommend the prix fixe to anyone unless you're not hungry and you don't mind boring food. It consisted of raclette cheese with some weird sweet puree and a few roasted potatoes as well as very hard and hard-to-eat toasted bread; fried chicken with what looked like a creamy cabbage salad; and the smallest eclair on the planet. It was all very bland and there was no side dish included in the main course. For $35, I guess I shouldn't be complaining, but I'd rather pay more and eat good-tasting food. Not sure if I will have enough courage to go back and try the a la carte menu. Service was okay but we had to wait ages to get the check. Also, they didn't come back to check on the food or see if we wanted more drinks until we were more than halfway done with eating. I think there are better restaurants in the area, although their decor is very nice and you can see directly into the kitchen.
The chicken salad is a great healthier option. And the bread is sooooo good!
This restaurant is located in a beautiful Art Deco building. They stay true to French aesthetics and I had the best Coq at Vin dish. I now have a new standard for this dish.
What a fantastic addition to the pre-theater dining options in the Civic Center area! We were concerned, but it turns out to be a very short walk to the Opera House, where we have season tickets to the SF Ballet, and enjoy parking once and dining in the vicinity. The prix fixe meal at $35 was beef carpacio, seafood sausages in an exquisite sauce, and poppyseed cake with Meyer lemon sorbet. We also shared an order of gnocchi with cauliflower, likely the most sophisticated dish of the evening, and a juicy pork chop. The tarte fromage was light and flavorful. The presention of each dish was lovely. A lot of care clearly given by the kitchen- and it all shows. The service was just a bit of the hovering type, but that is a quibble. We already have our next reservation . . . .
Located in the Twitteer building, this French Bistro has great potential. Great attention to details makes for a convincing experience. The menu has copious enticements in varying price ranges, and the wine list is exceptionally well laid out by style & by price. Unfortunately, it claims to stay open late, but when we arrived at 9:15 we were told to hurry up & order as the (large, open) kitchen was about to close. For those dining earlier, Bon Marche should be an indeal French spot.