Range Restaurant Review written by Culinary Guide, Corinne Sykes
Range is a Mission main-stay that’s been a neighborhood foodie favorite since 2005. The sleek decor is also comforting, like a return home. Range remains on top of their game after 10 years of providing dependably good food every time and is featured on Michael Bauer’s Top 100 List of the Best Bay Area Restaurants.
The Place: It’s easy to walk right past Range with its unimposing street-front on Valencia street, just past a few hipster shops and eye-catching 826 Valencia. But once you’re inside, you’ll be glad you didn’t miss it. Patrons at the bar are greeted by a striking Art Deco back-drop housing old-fashioned soda bottles to top off creative, seasonal cocktails. The warm lighting and small ante-room makes for a small-town feel entrance. But if you have a reservation, you’ll be escorted back to the full dining room, where a diners are greeted by super knowledgeable staff who’ll be happy to recommend their favorites.
The Cocktails: Don’t miss out starting your visit with one of Range’s specialty cocktails. They rotate frequently, so don’t get too attached, just be ready for a new favorite every time. This round I went for the Ojo del Tigre – a delicious tequila cocktail featuring seasonal blood orange. The color was stunning, and the taste exactly what I needed! While the wine pairing might have been a better choice for the meal, the cocktail sure did make my taste buds happy!
The Dishes: Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the day’s puréed vegetable soup. Spinach with black truffle oil and crispy shallots graced my bowl and it was I could do to keep from licking the bottom when I finished. A hearty follow-up was the goat cheese and sorrell stuffed pasta with lime butter and chives – taste experiences I did not know could emanate from a vegetarian dish were the striking result of this choice recommended by our server. Not to be missed!
The entrée was solid comfort food. Super salty roasted chicken over a walnut, bacon, date, and chicory bread salad. The bread salad was a surprisingly nice complement to the chicken. Beware though, if you don’t like salt, this chicken is not for you. The skin was done to crispy perfection, though!
Save room for dessert if you can manage it. Hurry up to catch the blood orange sorbet with pistachio cake and coriander meringue.
Key ingredients: Blood orange, puréed spinach, black truffle oil, pistachio.
Other Menu Musts: Coffee rubbed pork shoulder with creamy hominy and collard greens is one of their most popular dishes!
Little Known Fact: The impressive art Deco piece behind the Range bar is actually an old 1940s hospital blood bank, repurposed to serve as the bar refrigerator.
Insider Secret: The bar seats and front tables are always held for walk-ins, so don’t fret if you can’t get a reservation – you still have a chance!
The Details: Ojo del Tigre $12, Spinach Soup $13, Goat Cheese Sorrel Pasta $16, Roasted Chicken $25, Pistachio Blood Orange dessert $9.
842 Valencia Street, Mission District
M-Th 6pm-close, F-Su 5:30pm-close, apéritif hour 5-6pm nightly