Rich Ideas

Food worth mulling over long after it's gone
Rich Table
Rich Table's blue prawns with tonnato sauce and Little Gem lettuces

The food at Evan and Sarah Rich's new restaurant, Rich Table, is full of winks and asides.

The brand-new restaurant, clad in unvarnished wood and white tile, is both buzzy and casual. And though the Riches' cooking exhibits technical precision, it also conveys a playfulness that exceeds the descriptions on the menu.

A shadow of black olives flits across a salad of squid and sweet watermelon ($14), keeping the dish's sweetness in check. Papery, transparent potato chips ($7) are fried with sardines threaded through their centers--already Rich Table's main conversation piece. (Another one: Maz Naba's short but extraordinary wine list, divided into three flat price tiers.)

Blue prawns ($25), tails curled around the plate in baroque ornamentation, become doubly luxurious when dabbed into a tangy tonnato sauce underneath. And the Riches are confident enough to forgo a sauce with roasted duck breast, serving the meat over tart shaved plums and summer-sweet corn kernels.

Even a final plate of Ossau-Iraty sheep's-milk cheese ($4) comes with its own surprise ending: toasted levain, brushed with butter and honey, the bread fleetingly perfumed with fennel pollen.

Rich Table, 199 Gough St. (at Oak St.);415-355-9085 or richtablesf.com

Rich Table 199 Gough St. San Francisco CA 94102 415-355-9085

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