Catch

2362 Market @ Castro
phone: 415.431.5000
hours: Sun- Thurs 11:30am-3pm, 5:30-10pm, Fri- Sat 11:30am-3pm 5:30-11pm
Full Bar
American, Seafood
catchsf.com

Oh, the buzz. When Catch finally opened their doors in late 2002, it was all anybody could talk about when it came to Castro restaurants. Acclaimed for being a friendly neighborhood eatery with fresh seafood and hot live music, I had to check it out.

The Ambience:
Very lively. The main dining room is classic though bustling, with an open kitchen and bar. Catch also has a unique front patio that really serves as a second room with a fireplace and heat lamps. Large screen windows, giving the feel of a single large room, separate the two spaces. There are also three vertically stacked super funky blue fish tanks by the bar that are rather mesmerizing.

They have live jazz bands and pianists every night of the week. I just so happened to be sitting next to the pianist, which made my night. He was spot on with a very gay mix of show tunes and Chopin.

The Menu:
The menu is surprisingly unfishy. They offer about eight entrees, four of which are fish, thus not really living up to its name. Oysters, crabcakes, tuna tartar and shrimp appetizers will run you about $8-$12. They have a great selection of salads for $5-$8. For dinner, Alaskan halibut, bluenose bass, blackened salmon and a clam & mussel risotto (!) are about $15. They also have rib eye steak, tagliolini, chicken and gnocchi.

The Food:
My dinner partner was disappointed with her halibut. We determined this was because it was a filet, not a steak, which wasn't specified. It had a sweet marmalade sauce with raisins, and I found it quite tasty. I had the blue cheese tagliolini with spinach (I'm a sucker for all things cheesy), which I also really enjoyed. We split a warm chocolate cake for dessert, which was good, but not extraordinary.

The Service:
Our server was very friendly and little awkward, which endeared me to him. He kept mentioning that his lover was also a waiter there, which was extraneous though interesting. I couldn't help thinking that it was a line (though truthful) to impress both the locals (isn't that cute?) and the out-of-towners (look, honey, our friendly gay waiter in the Castro works with his boyfriend. How very gay!). Regardless, he was very adept and accurate with a smile.

Reservations: Suggested

Overall: B+
The hot location and buzz don't really represent this average sort-of-seafood joint, but I'd still go back.

Reviewed : April 2004



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