We had the good fortune of dining at Anchor and Hope yesterday–nothing like being treated to a spendy lunch to get the workweek going. It was one of those long, conversation driven lunches that go well beyond 30 minutes or even an hour for that matter.
But then Anchor and Hope seems to cater to these types of lunches. Unassumingly located in what looks like an abandoned warehouse on Minna off of 2nd, once inside you’re free to breath a sigh of relief and enjoy the upperscale waterfront themed décor and it only takes one glance at the menu to know this is not the place to go for a quick bite to eat.
Seafood is the specialty with oysters taking center stage. You order by the oyster (around $2.50 per little guy on average) rather than by the dozen so you can go crazy and try everything they’ve listed on the chalkboard for the day or you can have a small sampling while you wait for your entrée.
We had the heirloom tomato salad and the grilled garlic prawn appetizer to start. The assortment of tomatoes was discerningly indulgent (we liked the “green one” the best with its peppery attitude) and the prawns were spot on—they were perfectly seasoned and accompanied by a refreshing summer relish and part of us thought it would have made a great entrée (given there would have to be more than 3 prawns on the plate).
The tuna melt made the cut for our main course and our coworker went with the fish and chips (the “chips” were rosemary potatoes and looked really good). We enjoyed the melt, it had a lemony kick that you don’t usually get with your average tuna melt and the fontina was the right cheese choice, but as good as it was we still think $14 is a bit much for a tuna salad sandwich. Perhaps if the menu had indicated where the tuna was from we may have been convinced otherwise.
The space itself is large and airy; high ceilings, a vast white wall behind the bar with a stark mock black pencil sketch of cartoonish fish. It’s also SOMA so of course there’s no shortage of exposed brick and exposed pipes, but simple and tasteful is the ethos behind the design so cool steel and clean earthy colored wood dominate the ambiance.
Overall the experience was good. You take people to these types of places and they are impressed and you are satisfied and everyone leaves happy and not too full (portion sizes tastefully subscribe to a European standard). We’d like to go back for dinner and try the oysters because we hear the bacon-wrapped oyster appetizer is the cat’s meow. All we need is another dining partner that likes to treat company to good meals and we’re ready to log into our Open Table account.
[Photo via magerleagues/Flickr]