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Friday, May 29, 2009

Hot Meal: The Corner

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM

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We're already on record as being a huge fan of Weird Fish, the tiny sustainable-fish-and-vegetables spot in the Mission, so we were eager to see what the owners would do with the space just two doors down (separated by a donut shop) at the corner of Mission and 18th. They named it, simply, The Corner, leaving the Chinese characters from a previous tenant visible under a coat of matte black paint.

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In style, it's entirely different from Weird Fish, not least because it's a meat-centric Italian wine bar and cafe. We arrived late in the afternoon, and were slightly saddened because the dinner menu didn't start until 6. We were tempted by such not-yet-available-until-dinner offerings as duck leg with Turkish dates and star anise ($11), and roasted pork with spring herbs and fennel seeds ($12). But we were more than happy with the flatbread "pizza" of the day, topped with hot coppa and mozzarella ($5).
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The interior is by the gifted designer Blythe Friedmann, in startlingly accurate social-club-in-Little Italy style: old mirrors, exposed brick, and vintage light fixtures with flickering incandescent bulbs. (She also did Weird Fish, but in a lighter vein that feels New England nautical.)

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The excellent light and custardy bacon, cheddar, and chives quiche of the day ($6) was topped with a lemony sauce and came with a salad of spring greens.

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Our table, happily littered with quiche, flatbread, and a wonderful charcuterie plate (soppressata, coppa, prosciutto, Italian salami, and house-cured pickled vegetables, just $5), and an equally wonderful cheese plate (aged cheddar, Point Reyes Blue, an Italian cheese from Treviso with Prosecco-washed rind, and apple chutney and almonds, $5). Not visible: a house-made ginger lemonade ($3), a glass of Navarro grape juice ($8), and a fabulous little skillet of sugar snap peas with lemon creme fraiche ($6).

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The lights make everything look good. As for the food, it hardly needed any help.
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Meredith Brody

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