The world is full of siblings. And if watching bad TV and celebrity news has taught us anything, it’s that the older ones are usually more polished and grow up to be king, while the younger ones have less pressure on them and end up being more fun. Sure, we might be mainly speaking about William and Harry - but it’s also true of Rich Table and RT Rotisserie.
While Rich Table is a formal, full-on dining experience, RT Rotisserie - owned by the same people - is our new favorite place for a casual dinner in Hayes Valley. The menus at these sibling restaurants are extremely different, but the quality and execution at both places are on the same very high level.
RT manages to be both efficient and laid-back, while still making you feel like you’re “going out to dinner.” Their roast chicken is what you’re coming for, but the cauliflower and pork belly are also fantastic, and you can get any of the above served in sandwich, salad, or stand-alone form. None of that might sound particularly revolutionary, but everything on the menu is as close to the best version of whatever you’re eating that you can find. The chicken has crispy skin and is insanely tender, the cauliflower is roasted perfectly and served with fresh herbs and a smear of beet hummus, and even the French fries are some of the best in SF. Besides the food, they have one very-well priced (under $40) bottle each of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wine, as well a draft beer on tap.
In addition to all that, RT never gets too crowded, and doesn’t feel like you’re eating in a fast-casual spot. The wood accents and tile floors make it feel homey, as does the classic rock playlist that brings you back to hanging out at your parents’ house. Or your friend whose parents liked classic rock’s house. Point is, it feels pleasantly chill.
It’s very rare that a place is perfect for so many situations, but RT Rotisserie does everything well - from the food, to the service, to the design. Dinner here is a hell of a lot easier (and cheaper) than Rich Table, and also consistently excellent. It helps having good genes.
This is incredible chicken - second only to Zuni’s in the entire city. The entree portion is an entire half-chicken for $10, which is shockingly well-priced for San Francisco. You choose two sauces to go with it, and you should pick chipotle yogurt as one of the two - otherwise, you can’t go wrong. It’s served super-simply, with some parsley and lemon, and that’s all it needs.
This roasted cauliflower could easily be fried - it just seems too crispy and delicious to have been cooked by rotisserie. However RT does it, the thing makes almost any other cauliflower taste like nothing and sadness. You get half of a massive cauliflower (it’s better to split, unless you really, really like cauliflower), and it shows up on top of some excellent beet hummus and lots of herbs. As for sauce, the pesto-y chimichurri one is best with this.
Eating a giant slab of pork belly on its own is an option here, but we like it best in sandwich form. With fried onions and chipotle sauce, it can be sort of messy and definitely heavy, but it’s great.
Extremely good fries that are even better with the delicious sauces, particularly the tangy BBQ.
While this sounds like something that might be served to you in a Russian prison, it’s quite good. The almonds are salty, the cabbage is slightly cooked and still crunchy, and it’s a nice refreshing side to go with a sandwich or just lots of meat.
The only thing here that didn’t exceed our expectations. There’s better ice cream to be had in the neighborhood (like Loving Cup or Smitten).