Occupation: Landscape Designer
Favorite Restaurant: Murray Circle
Reviewed Murray Circle: Saturday, December 14, 2013
I visited Murray Circle with a friend on a recent Saturday night before Christmas when the restaurant and Farley’s Bar were filled with holiday party celebrants. Despite the crowd, we had an outstanding meal and excellent service. The restaurant, a former non-commissioned officers’ club, is understatedly elegant with a pressed tin ceiling, Heath pottery and other custom made ceramics and crisp table linens.
Upon arrival, we were seated immediately at a lovely table in front of the fireplace. We were fortunate to have Darrin as our waiter. He is friendly without being obtrusive and very knowledgeable about everything on the menu. Throughout the meal, water glasses are kept filled, the shells from the addictive rosemary-roasted pistachios are whisked away, and the food and wine arrived in a timely manner. The house-made wild rice bread is delicious and refilled as needed.
Our entire meal was delicious. It is possible to order items from the tasting menu, so I ordered the Chestnut Agnolotti as an appetizer. House made pasta filled with chestnut puree and served in a brown butter sauce, was properly cooked al dente, and there was plenty of the creamy butter sauce. I also ordered the Braised Short Ribs ($35) which were served with a pouch of creamed rainbow chard, chanterelle mushrooms and potato gratin. The succulent short ribs were fall- off- the- bone tender and served with a delicious pan sauce.
Our second entree was the Roasted Liberty Duck ($32) with dates, lentils and beets. The duck breast, three or four generous slices, was roasted to perfection and very tender. The hint of sweetness from the dates added to the appeal, and lentils were an unusual but delicious accompaniment.
For dessert, we shared the Gingerbread which included a ginger blondie, spiced chocolate ganache and creamsicle ice cream. It was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.
Occupation: Branding Account Manager
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Shanghai House
Reviewed Murray Circle: Thursday, January 2, 2013
Three friends joined me for this meal and it was a really great time with them. The drive in was incredible on a clear night in the bay with views of the water, the bridges, the lights of the city across the bay and the stars.
This is a pretty high-end place, so walking in I expected nothing less than a beautifully designed restaurant. And that’s exactly what I got: beautiful stone fireplaces, wood used liberally, a real rustic but modern look.
We started the evening with drinks at the Farley Bar. We were seated at a small table where a server promptly took our order and served us just as quickly. My poison was a tasty Sazerac that was made just right and not sweet at all. We were so cozy and having fun catching up, we forgot about our reservation time. No problem! The hostess took us to our table in the dining room.
We ordered a variety of apps and main courses so we could get a good sense of what this place was about. The standouts: Miso Glazed Bone Marrow was fantastic for an app. It was cut down the middle so you could scoop it out and put on a piece of toast with some marmalade and salt. Super rich and indulgent fatty goodness. I had the Local Pork Tasting for my main dish which was medallions of pork and pork belly with mustard greens drizzled with delicious honey. The medallions were cooked perfectly medium rare and the pork belly fell apart like a pulled pork. My friends had the Liberty Roasted Duck which was incredible but the prize of the night was the Bouillabaisse which was a hearty stew full of seafood and chorizo, much like a cioppino.
Dessert was this apple, mousse, chai donut combo which was hard to get the perfect bite since it was stacked, but good and not too sweet.
Overall, a fantastic evening sharing great food with good friends in a comfortable but lux environment. Highly recommend it for a romantic evening or catching up with a group of friends.
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Favorite Restaurant: Pinole Creek Café
Reviewed Murray Circle: Tuesday, January 2, 2013
Murray’s Circle Restaurant is an awesome place….awesome location! We were greeted by our valet, who told us where to go for our dinner reservations. When we walked into the building, we were greeted by our hostess who promptly seated us. Our waitress came by with warmed pistachios infused with rosemary. It was to die for.
I had gone with my mother who is a picky eater, and all she wanted was the Braised Spare Ribs, nothing else. I asked about the menu, and for a starter I really just wanted a salad. He suggested a salad that was NOT on the menu, and I went for that. I ordered the Trout for dinner, and the side of the Quinoa Mac and Cheese. The waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu, very pleasant. He kept asking if we had any food allergies. I was amazed, because when I made the reservations, they asked the same thing. My mother has a shellfish allergy, so he recommended items that she could eat. The House Salad came out, along with the Little Gem Lettuce. We didn’t order the little gems, but it looked really good…I wanted to keep it, but our waiter came by and corrected the mistake.
The ambiance was awesome. And the Chef kept coming out. I thought that he did because he was seeing how or meals were, but it was because one of the owners was dining there. He did stop and speak to us, and I raved about the Quinoa Mac and Cheese. The portions were enough to fill you up, nothing to take home, but one would be satisfied. With the view and the service, it was wonderful. The Bang is a big BANG, very expensive…a place that I would go to on a first date, or special occasion, not a place that I would go to on a regular bases…I couldn’t afford it. But I would go back again.