RTB Fillmore

RTB Fillmore is a new tasting menu only restaurant from chef Rodney Wages, who has worked at the french laundry, RN74, benu, saison and atelier crenn. After looking at pictures and hearing good things from @BradFord, i decided to give it a try after a bang at bar crudo.

The small staff (i think there was one other person in the kitchen with chef wages and one front of house person) and the affordable tasting menu reminded me of saison 1.0 when they were still a pop-up restaurant in the mission district selling discounted gift certificates on groupon.

Highlights were the toasted grain broth, Æbleskiver, tortellini, abalone, cheese, and grilled ice cream.

Toasted grain broth
Warm and comforting, great start.
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Pumpkin, roe #orangeisthenewblack
Interesting contrast of temperatures between the warm pumpkin and cool roe.
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Grilled oyster, cauliflower
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Æbleskiver
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Turnip
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Russian osetra caviar #itsnotatumor
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Tortellini en brodo, smoked foie gras
Highlight of the night, the foie gras was silkier than spider-man in a nightgown.
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Lamb, abalone, okra
Probably the softest abalone prep i’ve ever had, it almost had the texture of a scallop.
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Cheese tart - buckwheat tart, harbison cheese, honey mustard
I wish more places would do composed cheese courses, this was very good.
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Grilled truffle ice cream
Outstanding. Smoky, smooth and creamy with a prominent black truffle flavor. I enjoyed this better than shunji’s harder and less creamy version.
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Cake, white truffle
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:call_me_hand: (that’s a “shaka” sign and a Spidey motion)

That abalone, yeah, ridiculously tender. Last two times I had it, the lamb was ~45 day dry-aged sashimi (also silken). Ice plant has a great ocean salinity to it, but “Mermaid’s Hair” was the crowning ingredient. Not to highjack your thread, but for comparison:

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Great report and pictures!

I’ve been to RTB twice when it was first a pop up at Izakaya Kou on Mondays. Back then his friend Sung Ahn (of Mosu, now in Seoul) helped out in the kitchen and some of the signatures now/of late were in their experimental stages, but still looking very similar. The Æbleskiver reminds me of takoyaki more. The brodo/foie was always good.

Stuart Morris who is a certified sake sommelier, put together a small sake list for RTB during the pop up days, and I’ve also paid corkage and brought my own. I must say that Rodney’s food pairs extremely well with sake, even the slightly more fruit forward Daiginjo bottles were great with it, and of course quite a few of the sake in beverage pairing. I can imagine pure bliss pairing of the foie in the brodo with something like the two year aged Born: Wings of Japan Junmai Daiginjo, even if for a fleeting moment which would make it worthwhile (or splurge on the 1L bottle Born: Dreams Come True five year aged Jumai Daiginjo which will last the whole meal).

Looks like I better make it to RTB F sometime soon.

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Mosu was also good. It was quite the (more relaxed) hybrid of Benu and Urasawa, not surprisingly. The space was a bit cold but with a few touches and some chill music it’s a nice private little spot to be in at RTB.

Agreed on the Æbleskiver being like takoyaki. I did have Stuart’s pairing before, though I’m not sure he’s there anymore as the two times I’ve went it’s been Matt, who did a fun pairing in his own right. Pairing alcohol with soup is always a challenge, but something off-dry, yes sake, may do the trick, especially with the mouthfeel / structure and finish that are different than wine. Good call on Born Wing of Japan. I’m even thinking maybe a kimoto style like Myoka Rangyoku if one wants to get extravagant. It might even transition well for their grilled milk ice cream.

Lamb sashimi was my favorite dish so far, along with the sungold tomatoes with fermented chili (season is certainly done now). I’d like to make it back before year-end as I understand a revamp/remodel is due around early 2018. For now, RTB remains one of the best hidden gems as far as tasting menus go. Value is sick for that level of cooking.

Great report, @PorkyBelly. Don’t mean to hijack your thread, but to contribute a few other pictures:

Trout roe with smoked avocado
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Sungold tomatoes with fermented chili
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Jamon iberico
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Madai with lardo and finger lime, black trumpet mushroom ragu.
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A5 wagyu (Miyazaki) grilled on binchotan, served with house barbecue sauce (supplement, this is half a portion)
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agreed, loved the umami and toasty crunch that provided.

Yeah, after talking with Matt I got the impression there will be some major changes coming soon.

Thanks and feel free to post more pictures. That jamon iberico, lardo and wagyu look awesome. was the iberico the bellota variety? was it a supplement? I saw the leg sitting in the dining room but I guess it wasn’t being offered.

Yep, that’s exactly what i thought when i first saw it.

Most of my pictures are similar to yours since I ate there recently, so they might be redundant. I did have the sungolds in a slightly different version though, and they were awesome:

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Yes, I’m quite sure the jamon iberico was bellota. Also, it had a good nuttiness that went well with blanc de blancs. I don’t remember how much they charged us for the jamon, if at all, I just remember there was a bill at the end because we ordered the white truffle supplement while there.

The wagyu supplement is great. The house barbecue sauce tastes almost like it has a little gojuchang or fish sauce in it, something fermented.

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a couple of updated dishes:

aji with preserved citruses and mustard flowers
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jamon iberico over sunchoke tart
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black cod with broth of lobster shells and coconut oil, meyer lemon and finger lime, wine, espelette pepper. quite a complex broth, nice subtle heat, acid, and richness.
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duck broth tortellini en brodo with duck breast and smoked foie gras
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“North Coast” 45 day aged lamb sashimi, pickled mussels, lettuces, “Mermaid’s Hair,” lamb belly
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Golden oscietra over fresh cultured cream and binchotan grilled lobster
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Lobster and caviar was the highlight!

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Hi @BradFord,

Nice report and pics! :slight_smile: The lamb “sashimi” sounds interesting… was it tender enough to chew through and eat with no issues? Thanks.

Not chewy at all; it’s quite silken, in fact (perhaps the aging broke it down). It’s not gamey, either. Definitely a nice bite but I preferred it with the grilled abalone from before.

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I was at RTB for New Year’s eve. They hiked the price up to $179 a person which included a flute of Gosset Brut from a magnum to ring in the New Year. Unfortunately only about 75 to 80% of my tastebuds were working properly that night, so I couldn’t fully enjoy all of the dishes (more annoying that my tastes couldn’t grasp some of the more delicate nuances of my friend’s aged Nuit Saint Geroges 1er Cru and my Daiginjo…). However some items were remarkably and in some cases overly salty, and I was not alone in feeling this way at our table. It was also possible they were struggling to serve to a packed full house with several multiple staggered seatings. On top of that service was very spotty in some areas and that lead to some not so good experiences and weird vibes.

Our Jamon had some truffle shavings on top, even though we opted out of the truffles add on.
We had the same aji dish, but I felt the citrus flavors were too strong and overpowered the fish (in a sense I couldn’t get a sense of texture). The fish looked a wee bit more like kanpachi or shima aji, but I wasn’t going to further question the chef whether it was really horse mackeral or not.

We had the aged lamb as well, but not as sashimi. Was there any curing of the protein at all with salt or something else?

I popped open a Kokuryu “Ryu” (Gold Dragon) Daiginjo and it was great with the first half of the courses (and helped temper some of the saltier items and brought a bit more balance to the horse mackeral).

I want to say I enjoyed my last meal at their pop up next door location (Izakaya Kou) there more vs the New Year’s meal. Although I should give them another try when they are not slammed to see how they will fare.

If I were to return, definitely would rather do it on a weeknight or a non holiday celebratory kind of weekend.

Josh Sens gave them a nice review recently

https://modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-big-review-rtb-fillmore

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Sorry to hear! I haven’t been during a special occasion / event menu, but was considering it for Valentine’s Day… Hoping they were adjusting to the busyness. I did note that there were a couple extra servers this time. I’ll probably return again pretty soon, and report back on my experience again.

Agreed I thought kanpachi or shimaaji - perhaps the sudachi juices “cured” it like how leche de tigre does to ceviche, rendering it whiter in color.

I’m not sure how it was aged.

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A recent visit to RTB was probably my strongest experience there yet. The atmosphere is fairly lighthearted but the cooking is quite finessed. Lots of great bites - the barbecue wagyu, caviar bump, sunchoke, lamb & abalone, and oysters were probably our favorites. There were a few small improvements/changes to some dishes as welll. Service was also on point.

Toasted grains broth with burnt onion oil. A nice comforting start.
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Aji no konbujime (horse mackerel cured in kelp), smoked on one side, with citrus gelee, preserved chili, and some special leaf oils. Nice texture and that citrus gelee combined with the faint smoke reminded me of tosazu. Though there was a fair bit of complexity (light smoke, spice, brightness) it didn’t obscure the aji’s taste or texture. There was also a faint wasabi flavor coming through and I want to say the daikon oroshi had a touch of ume. This rendition was better than the last time; I think the citrus gelee and spice were dialed in to the right pitch.
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Shigoku oysters with roast cauliflower, potato gnocchi, meyer lemon, and chives. The gnocchi’s texture was a nice foil to the oysters.
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Aebelskivers. Delicious.
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Lobster curry with red rice, yellow lentils, and fava bean leaves. This is a new dish with some Thai elements. The sweet lobster was nice with the light coconut milk curry, but what stood out was the texture contrast between the lobster and the lentils. This was nice but it wasn’t our favorite dish of the night. Paired with a nice Keller riesling.
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“The North Coast” with lamb tenderloin, crisp lamb fat, some ridiculously tender abalone with its liver sauce, cardoon, and coastal herbs (“ice plant,” Miner’s lettuce, and fried “Mermaid’s Hair” algae). This dish keeps getting better and better. The crispy lamb fat was killer, especially next to that incredible roasted abalone. This dish showcased a lot of complexity, both in texture and composition. The sauce is very hard to describe, but it bridged all the tastes - from savory, fatty, briny, vegetal, and bitter - very well.
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Tortellini en brodo with clarified butter filling, duck broth, and smoked foie gras. Textures were very silky and here’s where the kimoto sake became an interesting pairing. The duck broth and smoked foie give a lot of rich depth to it, and the dish is luxurious but also surprisingly light.
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Golden Oscietra caviar with fresh cultured cream. Seriously good caviar. (Supplement)
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Jamon iberico de bellota over sunchoke tater tot, fresh cream, and black truffle. (Supplement)
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Warm Santa Barbara uni in a broth of spiny lobster, white wine, espelette pepper, and chives.
(Supplement)
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A5 wagyu from Miyazaki, Kansas city barbecue sauce. 1/2 portion. (Supplement)
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Harbison cheese with honey and lemon thyme on a buckwheat tart
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A5 wagyu from Miyazaki, part 2. So good we had to get another order. The other 1/2. (Supplement)
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Spiced pumpkin cake, chocolate sorbet, with old sercial Madeira
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We drank 2 types of champagne (blanc de noirs and Delamotte blanc de blancs), a bottle of junmai daiginjo kimoto sake (Jokigen Red Label) and a few other pours (Keller riesling, some warm sake, and sercial Madeira). The Jokigen is made of omachi rice in the kimoto method, 50% seimaibuai, “nakadori” middle yield. It had some nice open richness and creaminess, but also some good acidity.

We’ll be back for Avery!

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Nice report @BradFord. :slight_smile: So is this going away in lieu of a new permanent restaurant? Thanks.

Thanks @Chowseeker1999. That’s correct, RTB (a pop-up of sorts) is closing after the finale dinner next Saturday, and reopening as a new restaurant called Avery in maybe a month. I’ll be sure to report back from Avery!

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