By: Stephanie Garr, Gourmet Walks Staff Writer
Comfort food deserves every bit of solace and satisfaction its name implies. This is the goal behind Gourmet Walks’ newest Hayes Valley tour partner, Corridor, which transforms home-cooked classics into upscale eats, all with a laid-back dining experience. In a way, its quintessential San Francisco, a city home to both numerous top chefs and the originator of casual fashion—Levi’s. Here, you can indulge in a rich black truffle butter-infused risotto, a flaky vegetable pot pie, or a heaping bowl of gruyere-crusted French onion soup without worrying about any judgments over loosening up that belt.
Corridor is the latest venture from the Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group, who also runs Fat Angel (a cozy, candlelit hot spot located around the corner from famous music venue The Fillmore), Stones Throw (a relaxed, minimalist gem atop Russian Hill), and Trestle (a prix-fixe post-work favorite in Jackson Square). Each of their restaurants aims to serve up imaginative, refined modern American fare without a dash of pretension.
It’s the kind of vibe needed in San Francisco’s civic and cultural heart. Within blocks of Corridor, you’ll find City Hall, Twitter’s headquarters, and the homes to the San Francisco Symphony, Jazz, Opera, and Ballet. Such local clientele could use a carefree refuge to unwind. At Corridor you’re free to choose your adventure: at the walk-up counter and communal tables on the ground-floor café or in the more intimate dining room upstairs.
From breakfast to dinner, the menu is jam-packed with American-style comforts, spun with a sophisticated flair. Even a sensible morning option like steel-cut oatmeal is spiked with a sweet surprise in its brown sugar crumble and candied walnut topping. Or you can simply throw all caution (and calories) to the wind and savor that butter fried pancake or, better yet, the Corridor Cruffin, a savory twist on the croissant-muffin hybrid made with gruyere, prosciutto, and chive.
An impressive array of shareable starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and full entrees round out the lunch and dinner menus. On our Hayes Valley tour, you’ll get a chance to try a few of Corridor’s most noteworthy starters, including the falafel croquettes—which manage to be crisp, moist, and light at once—the spicy meatballs lightly submerged in a fresh tomato sauce, and maybe even their decadent, cheddar-y spin on monkey bread.
Bigger appetites will find plenty of bite in rotating dishes like the Garganelli Bolognese with its southern Italian kick, and the juicy half roast chicken paired with leek bread pudding. You can also order a few specialties from Hi Neighbor’s other locales. For brunch or dinner, get Stone Throw’s Da Burga, a cheddar cheeseburger loaded up with pickled slaw and a “secret sauce.” At lunch, opt for Fat Angel’s sizable kale salad—the fresh baby greens balance out the devilish combination of chicken, bacon, marcona almonds, parmesan, and bread crumbs.
Those looking for a quicker fix can pick up one of Corridor Café’s specialty coffee drinks using L.A.-based Lamill Coffee, alongside pastries by East Bay bakery Firebrand, and house-made goodies that are “tailor-made to grab and go.” Indeed, comfort food should never give in to the constraints of time.
Stop by the café or restaurant, located at 100 Van Ness Ave., or book our Hayes Valley tour to sample a few of Corridor’s top specialties, along with plenty more neighborhood favorites.
Address: 100 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102