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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Papito: Mexican (with a French Accent) on Potrero Hill

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Papito's onion ring-topped heirloom tomato and cactus salad. - ALEX HOCHMAN
  • Alex Hochman
  • Papito's onion ring-topped heirloom tomato and cactus salad.
"Bonsoir!" A voice with a thick French accent greeted us last night on entering Papito, the long-delayed, just-opened Potrero Hill Mexican spot from Jocelyn Bulow, of Chez Papa fame. While the front of the small room is decidedly French in both look and feel (zinc tables, manicured plating, tight T-shirts on the staff), the food is pointedly Mexican, but with a few riffs.

The duck confit taco (two for $8) gets our vote for the must-order item during Papito's infancy. Shreds of tender meat, buoyed by two organic tortillas, gets a flavor bump from a squirt of tamarind sauce, house-pickled vegetables, and a dash of mint. An onion ring-topped salad of heirloom tomatoes, cactus, and cotija cheese ($8) is enhanced by a few dots of oh-so-French cilantro pistou. Though we wish the tomatoes had been a tad sweeter, the inventiveness and presentation won us over. Light-textured churros ($5), dusted with just the right amount of cinnamon, come with a small pitcher of chocolate sauce.

The restaurant says it won't offer takeout during these first two weeks. And because it's waiting for a liquor license, things are BYOB for now. Otherwise, this French-tweaked Mexican restaurant is already feeling au naturel.

Papito: 317 Connecticut (at 18th St.), 695-0147.

Read more from Alex Hochman at Urban Stomach. Follow us on Twitter at @sfoodie

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