Kauffman Heads to the Wilson for ‘Liquid Dinner’; Reidinger Is Dispassionate About Pasión
Jonathan Kauffman mixes things up this week, acknowledging that "Bartenders have become cooks in their own right," and therefore giving a full review to the reservation-only experience at The Wilson (a.k.a. Wilson & Wilson), within Bourbon & Branch. He writes of the three-course format, "You don't go to the Wilson for a drink. You go for a liquid dinner." And he likes that "the mood is restaurantlike, too, subdued and romantic," noting it's "a fantastic place for a date."
He analyzes the Hard Boiled digestif cocktail, saying it "prickle[s] the tongue in five different places," but he's more a fan of the "mains" on the menu like the Charlie Chan and the Skull Island Sour. But he points out the "conceptual problem" of drinking three full-strength cocktails in 90 minutes (the length of a typical reservation) without any food. To that, all we can say is: Man up, Kauffman! [SF Weekly, see also Kauffman's afterward, and his interview with owner Brian Sheehy]
Paul Reidinger, while not a huge fan of ceviche, calls Pasión's version "exquisite," saying it "brought together cubes of ahi tuna and salmon, kernels of purple corn, and bits of cilantro, red onion, and yellow pepper I haven't seen so much color in one place since looking into a box of Crayola crayons." He was less entranced by a Miracle Whip-like dip served with some salt-cod fritters, and he only kind of liked the duck empanadas. The paella, unfortunately, came full of raw red onion, but was also OK. [SFBG]