Actually Pretty Awesome: Dungeness Crab Soup at Canteen


One of our all time favorite restaurants in town, Canteen (817 Sutter Street), has recently undergone a refresher. Chef-owner Dennis Leary, in between several other projects and after remodeling the restaurant’s interior with a clean, all-plywood aesthetic, has decided to spend the next couple of years offering a simple prix fixe each night of three to four courses, with occasional options therein, with dishes inspired by Robert Courtine 1971 book The Hundred Glories of French Cooking. We were curious enough that we needed to check it out, and we’re glad to say the spirit of the restaurant, and the food, remain largely the same.

The standout in a simple but beautifully prepared mid-week dinner was this Dungeness crab soup — a deeply flavored take on crab bisque with cream, subtle spicing, and a touch of sherry or marsala. Some chunks of picked crab mixed with shallots and dill garnished the bowl, but otherwise it was all about the spoonfuls of velvety, rich, intensely layered soup, imbued with the deep-sea essence of crab shells giving it a dark saffron hue. By the time there were just smears of it left, all we could do was sop up every precious drop with one of those buttery Parker House rolls. It reminded us what a master of soups Leary can be, and reassured us that nothing has slipped at this Tenderloin gem.

Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
The Trick Dog at Trick Dog
The Fried Chicken Sandwich at Hi Tops
The Dungeness Crab Salad at Haven
Chicken Drums at Rickybobby
The Doc Hopper at Absinthe
The Burger at KronnerBurger
Bang Bang Chicken Wings at M.Y. China
’Fruit Loops’ at Chambers Eat + Drink
Smoked Pulled Goat at Southpaw
Manti Dumplings at Troya Fillmore
Flaming Sea Bass Roll at Elephant Sushi
Black Risotto With Uni and Egg at Prospect
Seared Salmon and Mussel Mashed Potatoes at Bisou
The Meatloaf at Jamber
Carrots at Commonwealth
Turducken at Honor Bar
Beggar’s Chicken at Betelnut
Lobster Bread Pudding and Smoked Cod at Maverick
Green Farro-Sausage Risotto at RN74
Vegan Charctuerie at Gather
Pickled Eggs at St. Vincent
Beef Tongue at Namu Gaji
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken at Brasa
Green Garlic Bread at State Bird Provisions
A Dinner of Small Plates and the Duck Confit Salad at Frances
Duck Fat Chex Mix at Truck Stop Café
The Lamb Tongue Salad at Txoko
The Branzino and the Cucumber and Scallops at AQ
Dinner at Local Mission Eatery
Suckling Pig Sandwich at Sweet Woodruff
Crudités at Saison
The Roasted Broccoli Sandwich at Split Pea Seduction
The Buffalo Burger at Double Decker
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
The Cocktails at Outerlands
The Meatball Gigante and the Honey Pie at Tony’s Pizza
Three New Gins from St. George Spirits
The Fried-Chicken Sliders at The Lookout
The Tripe and the Pickles at Bar Tartine
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare