Dining Design Diary: ProspectAuthor:Lindsey Shook
When weekend brunch time rolls around, I always prepare myself for battle. The standard story goes like this: ride down to the Mission District, roll by my first choice without stopping due to the concert-sized crowd already outside. When I finally find a place that is equal parts 1) delicious 2) not a four-hour wait 3) close enough for the friends to get to before the grumpy hostess crosses me off the list, I shimmy to the host stand, put my name in and prepare to stand should-to-shoulder for the next 45 minutes with a bunch of other anxious, antsy, hungry and hungover would-be brunchers.
But last weekend was a refreshing departure from the norm. After a half-dozen text messages, my friends and I agreed on Prospect, the six-month-old eatery by the team behind SF’s beloved Boulevard. Located on the ground floor of SoMa’s luxury condo tower, The Infinity, and designed by Brand + Allen Architects, the large space is a far cry from the cramped commercial spaces along Valencia. And although initially—with the valet juggling a list of cars that could have been the refrain in a subpar hip-hop song—I felt the place may have been a little to rich for my blood, I was quickly convinced that I wasn’t about to have a Pretty Woman moment as soon as I walked in.
Although the restaurant was full, the host stand wasn’t mobbed. In fact, I was greeted (!) and invited to sit in the cozy lounge until a table became available. From my cushy perch, the tables were out of sight behind a large partial wall, so I couldn’t give lolly-gagging diners the stink eye, and instead a big, gorgeous bar beckoned, rimmed with 19th-century industrial chandeliers. Suddenly waiting for brunch—armed with a cocktail and back pillow—was turning into an attractive event all its own.
Once my friends arrived, we took a seat at the long communal table and got to feasting. The food was delicious, the service superb, and the view out to Folsom—just one block from the Bay—through the long wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, bright and beckoning, proving good things do come to those who wait.
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