By GraceAnn Walden
Café Majestic 1500 Sutter St. (at Gough) in the Hotel Majestic San Francisco (415) 441-1280
Cuisine: Contemporary cuisine.
Pluses: Beautiful, sophisticated interior; quiet dining room; lovely combinations.
Minuses: It's in a hotel; sometimes lacking in customers because it is off the beaten track.
Don't Miss: The layered Dungeness crab salad or the mushroom soup with puff pastry top; honey ice cream. Prices: Appetizers $7-14; entrees $17-29
Overview: Chef Ian Begg is in a hotel, and unfortunately, that means a lot of people won't find him. This restaurant is like restaurants used to be a place to be "restored." The colors are restful and you can have a civil conversation.
Beef tartare is jazzed up with chili oil, pickled mushrooms and a quail egg yolk for a touch of satin. A raisin sauce naps the foie gras appetizers and the oysters are expertly shucked. Try the heavenly sautéed potato gnocchi, which features a roasted garlic cream.
In entrée-world, chive oil brightened the crispy-skin black bass. The venison with blood orange endive marmellata and pine nuts was a lovely dish.