BIX Restaurant Review:
It’s hard not to fall for this glamorous supper club’s charms, including a dramatic, dual-level interior and accent on the creepy-cool, voyeur-ish art (clowns, butlers) of the late, local painter Mark Stock. Financial District suits and heels take refuge at the main-floor bar and dining room, complete with live jazz from a baby grand; above, mezzanine diners soak up the scene in removed comfort while enjoying softened acoustics for intimacy. Tucked down an alleyway, the venue is a fun, hidden place for upscale dates and group occasions, and strikes a very San Francisco balance between playful and impressive. Chef Bruce Hill’s seasonal American cuisine includes rows of enjoyable hors d’oeuvres — tiny potato pillows topped with crème fraîche and caviar, and elegant little lamb burgers freshened with cucumber and dill. A chef’s-choice plate of such bites followed by fresh oysters, all served with cocktails shaken tableside by tuxedoed servers — these are natural choices here. Richer second-course fare includes American Kobe bavette with puréed mashed potatoes, and truffled pecorino cheeseburgers that touch the air with heady musk. Seasonal ingredients shine in dressed-up sides such as creamed Bloomsdale spinach, and on tableside carts, including one devoted to heirloom tomatoes in summer. We like the modern bananas Foster: roasted bananas, their collected juices muddled with dark rum, poured tableside over vanilla ice cream.