Tucked away in Bernal Heights on the prime strip of Courland Avenue, 3rd Cousin may be one of the city’s best kept secrets- a true San Francisco gem that offers everything a destination neighborhood restaurant should: an upscale yet intimate atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable service and a memorable and expertly-executed menu.
3rd Cousin is the brainchild of Chef Greg Lutes, who became known for his San Francisco popup restaurant Kinfolk (which officially became 3rd Cousin last year) as well as his work at a number of well-regarded establishments in Chicago and New York. The restaurant brings Lutes’ take on California and New American cuisine to the forefront with beautifully presented dishes made from high quality, organic produce, grass-fed meats and local seafood. 3rd Cousin’s menu offers a multitude of selections that are as big on flavor as they are on creativity, including a la carte options and a chef’s tasting menu with optional wine paring.
Guests can choose from a number of savory appetizer selections including a traditional Hamachi Crudo made with celery root and pear, accompanied by a spicy ‘cranbanero’ sauce and black garlic; a combination that creates a bold flavor profile without overpowering the delicate flavors of the fish. There is also the standout ‘house specialty’ (and celebrated favorite among Yelp reviewers), the Uni Crème Brulee, made with with petrossian caviar, yuzu tobiko and trout roe- a truly unique and elegant dish that is as memorable as it is flavorful.
Satisfying main dishes include the Scallop and Pork Belly with kohlrabi, kumquat, peanuts and the Brandt Short Rib and Bavette Steak with soft polenta, kale, black trumpet and horseradish. Comfort food connoisseurs will relish in the flavors of the Crab & Spiny Lobster Ramen, made with bacon, bok choy and soft egg. A creative and very sophisticated take on traditional Japanese ramen and the perfect entrée choice on a chilly San Francisco evening. Lutes’ menu also features a truly impressive Perigord Truffle and Porcini Ravioli, a stand out pasta course that is richly decadent, beautifully presented and an absolute must for any truffle lover.
3rd Cousin also boasts an impressive wine list featuring a number of local and imported selections, including an impressive 2014 Domaine des Homs “l’Amandier” Cinsault Coteaux Peyriac, as well as rotating selection of decadent dessert choices to complete your dining experience.
Though it may be a bit far removed from the traditional foodie neighborhoods of Downtown or the Mission, with a menu this robust and food that truly delivers such a satisfying and enjoyable experience, Greg Lutes’ 3rd Cousin certainly warrants a trip (or two) to Bernal Heights.