J and I have this thing when we go to restaurants in the Bay Area, we end up totally connecting with the staff. It happened at B, it happened at Aunt Mary’s (review to come) and it happened last night at Digs Bistro. Located in our ‘hood on the corner of Sacramento and Dwight Way, Digs bistro is a tiny (I mean TINY) neighborhood joint that does the local, organic, gourmet food extremely well.
On Tuesday, we tried to go and they were closed. As were Aunt Mary’s, San Maru (a Korean place closed???), and Zatar. We tried to go to Bistro Liaison but we were told they only had outdoor seating only to see them seat two other couples behind us. We were told told “if you want an indoor table the wait will be X.” We were told there was no indoor seating. Period. We tried to brave the outdoor space but couldn’t deal with the slow service. The slow and confused service was so bad that we felt sorry for the OTHER couple who were seated outside. We at least got bread and water. They were still waiting to get any attention. That night we left and made a beeline to B.
Last night we made another attempt to hit Digs Bistro. This time we were successful. They were having a busy night. With only two people on the floor, a maitre d’ and a server and ONE chef and a kitchen person, they had a skeleton crew. But here’s teh difference between SLOW service and BAD service – communication. Right away, the maitre d’ let us know they had a full house and that they were a bit slower that night. He was apologetic aobut the fact he didn’t have space at the bar for us and once we got to the bar, he gave us a small glass of wine. What counts is not the free booze (although that helps), it’s the thoughtfulness.
Once we got to our table the service was slow but he checked in on us and let us know how long things would take. Once we got to our table we ordered the charcuterie plate and fried squash blossoms and the roasted half chicken with the roasted toamtoes and polenta and the semolian crusted halibut with sauteed baby spinach and three bean vinaigrette (three diferent kinds of beans in a vinaigrette). I will say that the bread you get is excellent. Soft with a nice crust to it. But we were really impressed by the charcuerie plate. It was inventive with homemade bacon and h0memade apricot chutney. We are trying to eat as many squash blossoms as we can as the season is drawing to a close. Here’s the thing, it’s hard NOT to get a great squash blossom because deep fried squash blossoms stuffed with cheese can never go wrong.
But it’s the entrees that really kicked it. The halibut was perfectly cooked and the spinach and beans had a very vibrant fresh flavor to them. The chicken ranks up there with Courdoroy and B as great tasting chicken. It was moist and tender and full of flavor. The delicate sauces with both dishes really highlighted the flavors of their proteins.
throughout the whole evening, the skeleton crew waitstaff made sure we were attended to and were apologetic about the wait. We were appreciative of their thoughfulness and once things slowed down we got great service. We could tell this is an excellent neighborhood joint where people come back again and again.