North Beach is well-stocked with strip clubs and fakey Italian-American joints, but a bit short on basic night-out restaurants. Sure, Tosca is knocking out excellent food until late, and [Don Pisto's (http://www.theinfatuation.com/san-francisco/reviews/don-pistos "Don Pisto’s" ) is one of the great party vibes in town, but it's been hard to come up with a low-key place worth recommending in this part of town. UNTIL NOW.
Doc Ricketts fulfills the key date night requirements. You can hear your companion talk (unless you go downstairs, which is apparently booked nightly with "music, comedy, or literary events." We stuck with the restaurant). The cocktails and wine are good enough for showbiz. The food is tasty, and interesting, but not too interesting. No one's going to get upset if you order roast chicken, but there's a bevy of cured meats for the more adventurous.
Let's talk about that charcuterie for a minute, because it is ridiculous. The duck rillettes go in the shredded-meat-in-a-jar pantheon. But the porchetta...whoa, nelly, that is some porchetta. Ten perfect slices of meat wrapped in fat wrapped in more fat, laid out in a floral pattern. It's beautiful.
Some dishes were misses, and — not to get all Yelp-y on you — it took us 15 minutes to signal someone for a drink in a restaurant that had 20 people in it. But does that matter in the grand scheme? Not really. Doc Ricketts is a nice addition to your roster. The world always needs more simple food, done right.
Two of the best charcuterie dishes we have ever had. Have to get back for more.
A nice heap of quality vegetables and bread chunks. Who can say no to infusing salad with carbs?
This sounded cool: tuna cubes cooked in fat is novel, if nothing else. But they turned out kind of tough, and not particularly flavorful. Not necessary.
So juicy. Juiced all over the plate the moment we cut into it. However they get chicken breast this moist, it should go in a cookbook. Accompanied by stellar liver toast. They know their meat pastes at DocRick.