Traditional steakhouses are few and much between in San Francisco, lately. When The Vault Steakhouse opened downtown in 2019, it was filled with retro-elegant promise. Then the pandemic hit, and goals of our subsequent completely cooked steak had been thrown into limbo. The fantastic thing about having a steak in a restaurant — not simply any restaurant however a steakhouse with excessive sufficient warmth to do the job proper — is that you just don’t have to fret about sourcing the very best model of the lower you want or nailing the sear, two amazingly tough processes. At The Vault, you perceive as quickly as you stroll within the door that you just’re within the palms of specialists.
The feel and appear of the area are the shape that match the operate, rife with metaphor. It’s an underground former financial institution vault, so come along with your partner or your lover — both method, you’re secure in right here (besides from the ldl cholesterol). The menu is an aphrodisiac playbook.
And we checked off each field, beginning with the potato pave “tots” with creme fraîche and caviar alongside, after all, a glass of the J. Lasalle Chachet d’Or Champagne. The potatoes had been rigorously sliced with a mandoline and stacked in seemingly infinite layers, deep-fried and as decadent as they sound. We additionally couldn’t resist the scallop crudo with pomegranate and crunchy little beads of finger lime. And since we had been all in from the get-go, the do-it-yourself Parker Home rolls had been additionally a should.
Given the best way I’ve eaten through the pandemic (largely like a plant-forward fowl, standing up), it was as if my total alimentary canal thought the lockdown was over. It was bizarre, in a great way. Fortunately, we allotted a few hours for the immersion expertise, and we had actually come for the meat, so onward we went — not for the tomahawk, whose legend precedes it, and never for the ribeye, my red-meat go-to — however for the little 8-ounce A5 Wagyu ribeye. And to share. It was absolutely the good selection for satiation with out gluttony. We every had six meltingly tender slices whose fats was totally built-in all through the lower (as in “transfer over, foie gras), and the entire affair was a gradual, quasi-religious ritual, aided and abetted by the knife-selection course of, which appeared like a high-stakes resolution.
The server comes round with a field of steak knives of varied sizes, shapes, weights and colours and ceremoniously presents them in what looks as if a little bit of a persona take a look at. I went with substantial heft within the blade and a blue wood deal with whose maker wasn’t named. It suited all the things about my temper, and the meal.
I defied the plain wine selection, a Napa Cab, going as a substitute for a Sonoma Coast Pinot from Ernest Vineyards, balanced and understated on this context. And let’s not neglect the traditional Caesar salad, tossed tableside and served with boquerones, do-it-yourself croutons and soft-boiled eggs.
Don’t ask me why, however we didn’t have dessert.
The Vault is a restaurant for these attempting occasions, traditional in all of the comforting methods we lengthy for, and up to date in all of the others (e.g., you’ll be able to deliver your resident pescatarian with out disgrace). Give it a strive — help a neighborhood enterprise doing a lot to maintain our spirits up, and succeeding in each conceivable method.