The Other Critics

Bauer Updates Murray Circle, Calls It ‘Retro and Wonderful’; Unterman Checks Out Boxing Room

Murray Circle at Cavallo Point.
Murray Circle at Cavallo Point. Photo: Courtesy of the restaurant.

Michael Bauer is back updating Murray Circle for the second time this year, after he took them down from three and a half to three stars under former chef Joseph Humphrey. Since then, one of Humphrey’s former sous chefs (at Auberge du Soleil) has taken the helm, Justin Everett, and the restaurant has gone in a more casual direction, with updated takes on bistro classics on the menu like roast chicken, bouillabaisse, and steak tartare. Bauer notes the missing tablecloths, and “a jar of rosemary scented pistachios replaces the more intricate chef-prepared amuse bouche.” But he says the “presentations are far from casual,” and he praises an appetizer portion of the bouillabaisse saying “it’s a beautiful combination that brings the bay to the dining room.” He also enjoys a duck breast entrée, and adores the peanut butter soufflée for dessert (he wrote about it further today on the blog). All told, they slip down to two and half stars, though he says “the service has continued to improve.” [Chron]

Patricia Unterman takes a crack at Boxing Room, and calls it “ebullient” and “a New Orleans-style restaurant [San Francisco] can love.” She notes that “New Orleans people don’t consider raw vegetables food, but at Boxing Room, salads are some of the most delightful dishes,” praising especially the summer vegetable salad. Of the fried chicken she says the “spice-infused, crunchy, dark-brown crust … almost has a life of its own.” And she recommends the crawfish étouffée over the gumbo. And of Bill Corbett’s desserts, she calls his beignets “ethereal” and says she couldn’t stop eating the pralines-and-cream sundae. [Examiner, Bauer’s earlier take]

Bauer Updates Murray Circle, Calls It ‘Retro and Wonderful’;