This is the newest “IT” spot in San Francisco. Aatxe just opened up a few weeks ago (April 17th) and is an awesome place for date night (hint hint: fellas make your ressies ASAP!)
The ambiance was on point: innovative drinks, classy vibes, chill music, and mostly importantly- the food was fantastic.
Aatxe (pronounced “ah-chay”) showcases Basque-style tapas while drawing influences from Northern California. The chef is Ryan Pollnow, who is killing it with his bold menu of pintxos and tapas. There were so many things that I absolutely LOVED (we practically ordered the whole damn menu). So the entire night, we were drinking, laughing, and enjoying these tapas in a super lively atmosphere (while also embarrassingly taking food pics #sorrybabe).
Side: Aatxe is opened by the Ne Timeas Restaurant Group- which also owns Flour + Water, Salumeria and Central Kitchen
Here are the 7 tapas that really blew me away:
The octopus salad ($12) is a total orgasm in your mouth. The salad features fresh ingredients that you can taste- very thin slices of octopus with tiny cubes of kohlrabi, avocado and greens.
It was a great start to our meal.
The pickled beets & kumquats ($10) is another fantastic starter for those of you who aren’t a fan of octopus. I was super impressed at how all these ingredients complimented each other in every bite.
This is a pintxo flight ($13). Each one of them was different and delicious: pintxo gilda, fava and lardo toast, smoked salmon, and a fabulous deviled egg.
I was blown away by these mussels, which arrived marinading in pool of immense flavors. The sauce was super flavorful and bold, without taking away the natural flavors of the mussels.
Crispy pork trotter ($11) is a must get!! Think: warm, crispy outside layer with tons of melty flavors on the inside.
OMG these are freaking phenom: patatas Bravas ($8.5) They’re like french fries on crack– WAY better and way crunchier. It’s cooked with a light tomato sauce.
This Spanish fried rice ($14) was one of my favorite dishes of the night. It was soft- yet crunchy at the same time (<– love that).
These next few dishes are good, but just aren’t as memorable as the ones above:
Green olive flatbread ($6) with garlic herb butter. Loved all the flavors, but I’m usually not a huge fan of flatbread (I’d rather save my calories for other things).
Gambas al Ajilo ($13): While the shrimp itself was super fresh, I thought the sauce could have used a little more flavor.
This pork belly ($15) was just alright. Perhaps I have very high expectations for pork belly, but I just wasn’t impressed. While it was flavored nicely, it didn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth type of consistency. (It’s the ONLY thing on the menu I’d skip).
So to sum it all up:
Aatxe is located in the historic Swedish American Hall and is divided into two rooms- a bar area and a dining room. This is a great place to come for date night or as group of people. I’d recommend coming here PRONTO since this place will probably be booked up with reservations very soon.
And don’t forget, the crispy patatas bravas are a must get!!
PS: If you’re coming here on a date, don’t forget to bring gum. You’ll thank me later.