Avery (formerly R.T.B., San Francisco)

R.T.B. is back in a refreshed space which takes inspiration from Milton Avery’s paintings. Chef Rodney and crew are still crushing it, and now there are 2 menus - $89 for 7-9 courses, or $189 for 10-15 courses.

Edit: I’m also missing a pic of the uni in spiny lobster broth. Ok so that’s 3 courses for which I’m missing pictures - caviar, uni, and lobster curry…and a sake, I believe.

I had the latter, and opted for sake pairings (forgot to take a picture of the caviar). Essentially, this longer menu incorporates all of the supplements which were recently offered at R.T.B. - jamon iberico with sunchoke tart and black truffle, Imperial golden ossetra caviar bump, uni in spiny lobster broth, a5 wagyu, etc. and I believe that the menu’s less expensive now than if one were to add all these supplement courses at R.T.B… It’s still a great relative value, for this kind of menu, when you consider the quality and ingredients (that imperial golden ossetra and Hokkaido beef are serious).

Another menu is available upstairs for a private room, which seems a little more carte blanche.

Matt and crew are great - attentive, but the vibe is remains chill and fun.

Note the great plateware!

New wall art
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Broth of toasted grains with charred onion clarified butter
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Jamon iberico over sunchoke tart, with culture cream and shaved black truffle
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Kanpachi with sakura blossom and dried leaves, citrus gelee, cucumbers and chili
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Smoked trout roe, avocado, sesame, flower petals
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Aebelskiver with dried shrimp, mayo, and brassicas
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Shigoku oyster with ramps, asparagus, chives, and wild seaweeds
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I forgot to take a picture of the caviar course.

Tortellini en brodo with liquid center and smoked foie gras
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There was a lobster curry course, but I seem to have lost the picture…

There was an uni in spiny lobster course, but I seemed to have lost this one as well…

Kansas City barbecue A5 “Hokkaido Snow Beef” Private Reserve by Chateau Uenae. This is not your normal A5 Miyazaki-gyu…The meat may look “shimofuri” when raw but Hokkaido-gyu also retains a pure and deep beef flavor, so it doesn’t taste of only fat. As of December 2017, there were only 5 restaurants outside of Hokkaido serving this “Hokkaido Snow Beef.” The difference of this brand’s “Snow Beef” is the fat distribution because of the very cold weather, and the diet of very sweet Hokkaido corn. Great stuff, indeed, and this plus the caviar itself could comprise the whole menu price :laughing:.

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“The North Coast” Mendocino lamb with the tenderest abalone and various seaweeds and coastal flora with deep umami. That lamb jus and the barbecued lamb fat are awesome.
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Harbison cheese tart in pecan pie shell with lemon thyme
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Pineapple upside down cake and grilled milk ice cream
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And the sakes…

Umeshu to start
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Ended with some Kijoshu, which drinks almost like Madeira. It’s fortified with sake instead of water during the brewing process, rendering something quite potent.

I think there was another sake, too. Finished the night at P.C.H. with a coconut negroni and some more peated Ichiro’s Malt, so my memory is a bit hazy on all the details.

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Nice report @BradFord. :slight_smile: I never got a chance to try RTB so I’m excited to try Avery next time hopefully.

For the A5 Hokkaido Gyu, did the “Kansas City BBQ” flavors overwhelm the meat? Thanks.

Thanks!

Nope - the beef is grilled simply over binchotan, I believe; it’s the accompanying barbecue sauce that’s “Kansas.” I don’t believe there’s any kind of dry-rub on the beef, but either way, it’s delicious. The accompanying sake was quite strong, but it made sense with the sauce. Maybe I could supplement another portion so I have more to try with and without the sauce for comparison.

Avery is in a good spot in its relative value and it is also simply very good. I think you’ll like the tortellini en brodo, “North Coast” lamb and abalone, caviar, and wagyu, in particular. For fine dining in SF, my current lineup of favorites is Saison, Californios, and Avery, each of which is good for its own occasion.

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Thank you so much for the report! I might go check them out soon myself.

Avery has a private room for 6 to 8 people that runs a little higher (and might be adjacent to the wine cellar upstairs) but seems to be more or less the same food of the $189 menu from some photos that I saw of a VIP dinner party there recently.

I’ve tried most of the sake before in the pairing as separate bottles, a few I have not at all.

From the pictures you’ve listed.

  1. Kakurei Junmai Ginjo Umeshu - Niigata Prefecture (a bit on the sweet side but otherwise quite solid for an exported umeshu sake)

  2. Tsuzumi Junmai - Niigata Prefecture (nice earthy and mushroom tones) - had this at Gyu Kaku once and it was quite solid

  3. Tedorigawa Yamahai Daiginjo - Ishikawa Prefecture - extremely solid and well structured, the best of the three more famous / affordable Tedowigawa sake, great for izakaya as well. Not a lot of Yamahai Daiginjo sake out there.

  4. Takenotsuyu Hakuro Suishu Junmai Ginjo Muroka Nama Genshu - Yamagata Prefecture - this is a very delightful refreshing and nicely balance brew that is a touch fruit forward but is refreshing and drinks a little thick (compared to other Yamagata sake), rice varietal is Dewasansan, native to Yamagata Prefecture (Dewazakura sake, also Yamagata Prefecture brews with this rice too )

  5. Mantensei Junmai Ginjo - seen this at K&L but have not tried it before

  6. Jokigen Omachi Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo (brewed with Omachi rice)- I believe in Japan there are two breweries called Jokigen, with the more well known one (this bottle) from Yamagata prefecture, and I think the other Jokigen is from Ishikawa Prefecture. Never had this one but I tried the black bottle Junmai Ginjo, but not a fan. The ones in Japan taste different.

  7. Inemankai (by Mukai Shuzo) Kyoto , near Sea Of Japan. Kuniko Muka is one of very few master brewers of sake, and for this bottle they do a two rice blend of Gohyakumangoku & Murasaki Komachi (red rice varietal), hence the darkish red vingear like color…and the elevated acidity (2.3, most regular sake 1.3 to 1.6) speaks to that as well. This sake is quite popular in Japan now and a couple years back, 2 Michelin star Narisawa (Aoyama) in Tokyo served this as part of their beverage and sake pairings, and was selected to match with a squid dish that was quite excellent. This is good to have by the glass as part of a pairing, sharing a bottle may be overwhelming.

  8. Hanahito Kijoshu “Gorgeous Bird” - great aged sake, though I’m more inclined to say I did not taste this one (True Sake carries three koshu’s, I know I tried the Ai and the Daruma before, though they say this is the best of the lot, but it only comes in a 500 mL size).

How did you like the sake pairings? Any that worked particularly well and any that did not for you?

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I enjoyed the rundown, @BradFord.
Looks like somm Dan Bromberg is playing some deep cuts in his pairings.
Was the Jokigen Omachi Kimoto served with the beef?

Great sake rundown by @beefnoguy, as usual.

Fun fact: In Japan, cows say “Moooooooooh” – like The Simpsons bartender, Moe.

Here is a video about Hokkaido Snow Beef that I came across while Googling.

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Thanks for all the sake notes! I started to take a few then tapered off as the meal went on (and drank more)…

There was also a Dewazakura Izumi Judan Ginjo, which was paired with the Aebelskiver and Shigoku oysters. It cut through the fried shrimp and mayo nicely, and was a good choice coming right off the trout roe with lush avocado from the previous course.

I seem to have lost the Takenotsuyu Hakuro Suishu picture…also lost the Shimizu-No-Mai “Pure Night” junmai daiginjo which was paired with the caviar and uni courses. I remember the warmed uni course having this ethereal mint flavor that I really liked with the sake. I don’t know if it was the combination of white wine and espelette and uni, or if it was from the combination from the sake…

anyway, yes I remember the Dewasansan having a bright green apple note but also being clean and silky. It was a nice foil to the tortellini en brodo in terms of texture and having a clean aftertaste. The distinct green apple note from Dewa33 variety complemented the silky foie gras.

I also liked the Jokigen red label omachi with the lamb and abalone course. I ordered a bottle on my last visit to RTB specifically because I thought that omachi/kimoto might work well with game.

You will be able to discern more. I don’t have much recollection of the other pairings, but I did think the umeshu was a bit strong and fruity to start.

I am also excited to see what they’ll do with Champagne. I had Delamotte there which is a great value Champagne that pairs quite well with a good deal of the food.

The Jokigen red label omachi was served with the lamb and abalone course, I believe. There is so much umami from the various seaweeds and coastal flora (in particular, I like the long ogo and ice plant), and this did a good job matching it.

I believe the beef was paired with the Mantensei Star Filled Sky. It made more sense with the barbecue sauce, which in my opinion, has some anchovy or fish sauce in it, or something like gochujang…

Thanks for the video on the Hokkaido Snow Beef.

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