Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kincaid's (Burlingame)

Kincaid's Fish, Chop, and Steakhouse in Burlingame
Great food, view, and service--worthy of the name of its southern counterpart

When I lived in Torrance, one of my favorite restaurants was Kincaid's on the Redondo Beach pier. We went there mostly for brunch, often enough at one point that we became semi-regulars. After I moved north, we went back for a delicious birthday dinner one year (the year Xoflow was formed), and have tried to go there whenever we're in the area.

Last year, someone told us there was one in Burlingame. We'd been avoiding going, first because we weren't convinced they were related, and second because we were worried it wouldn't live up to the lofty standards of the first. Finally, we put it on our list to try, and when American Express sent along a gift card for $20 off dinner there (out of nowhere), we decided that fate was speaking to us.

It's hard to get to. You need to get off 101 at Anza or Broadway and wind your way back to Airport Way, then snake along the bay shore for a mile before finding it tucked away behind the Sheraton. The location isn't quite as spectacular as the Redondo Beach pier (though, to be fair, little is), but it's lovely in its own right. The elegant dining room has a huge windowed wall looking out onto the water, where you can see San Francsico and Oakland (weather permitting), the Bay Bridge and planes on approach to SFO. It also has the same polished wood and sparkling chandeliers that the SoCal location has, and the same friendly service.

Our waiter was enthusiastic and amiable, very entertaining and attentive. He started us off with some warm garlic bread from the oven while we made up our minds on drinks and appetizers. Although we'd been trying artichoke dips across the country, we opted for the brie crusted with macadamia nuts. Between the three of us, we ordered two specials: the Petrale Sole Dore with roasted red pepper mashed potatoes, and the Swordfish steak with porcini mushrooms and acorn squash puree. We also each got one salad: a Caesar (with anchovies), a wedge, and a maple vinaigrette.

The maple vinaigrette at the SoCal Kincaid's is one of the things I remember best about the meal there, and the one here did not fall short. The salads were all fresh and light, with a good balance of ingredients and tasty dressings. The brie appetizer was terrific, too, warm but not too messy. The macadamia nuts provided a nice texture and subtle flavor to go with the cheese.

The main courses received high marks as well. The light, fluffy sole was perfect; the mashed potatoes with roasted red peppers blended the tastes of both very nicely, and the grilled asparagus that came with them were tender and crunchy. The mushrooms seemed an unusual pairing with the swordfish, but were perfectly cooked, their meaty texture and moderately strong flavor going well with the strong, firm steak.

We would love to have tried a dessert, but we were simply out of room by the time the menus arrived. Definitely need to go back again when it's light out, so we can appreciate the view. If you can find your way there, it's more than worth the trip.

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