178 Townsend St,
San Francisco, CA
Reservations: Mandatory (max 90 days in advance)
Saison is quite a surprisingly small space, very intimate, with quite limited seating as compared to other places we have been. The best part- the tremendous views of the open kitchen. We were pretty much sitting right inside with the chefs! This made for an especially "up close and personal" experience
We really appreciated the very unpretentious attitudes of the servers. They were all too happy to stay at or table and chat, offer comments about dishes, tell stories about their own food experiences and address all of or questions. Their very personable approach was balanced by a very professional and flawless dinner service, unrivaled by any other place we have been so far. The service gets an A+ all the way around, from the front of house to servers to the sommelier.
As one can glean from their website and previous reviews, there is an Asian flair to the whole meal. Or evening started and ended with tea, and Asian flavors and techniques were the centerpiece of most courses. For the most part, dishes were very simple and understated, but executed perfectly. So of our favourite dishes were prepared using their wood oven, which they used to prepare meat, veg and even bread. Saison is more about subtlety and refinement than dramatic, “knock your socks off” flavors and presentations.
If you are looking for a meal that hinges on simplicity and subtlety, without all the smoke and mirrors, than Saison is your place. While you may not experience the same degree of “wow” factor that is found other 2 and 3 stars, there is something to be said for the restraint and finesse that Saison delivers.