Oh Cavalier, we wanted to love you more. At first glance, you had the look of an Infatuation all-timer. Solid menu of British pub food, elevated? Check. Cool room? Check. Owners run two other solid establishments? You get the idea.
We were so ready for someone to finally knock a Soma-Market restaurant out of the park, especially since every conference/event/work-thing we’re invited to is inside this three-block radius. (Which sucks, by the way.)
Based on the crowd, everyone in SF who wears a suit was thinking the same thing. Not saying that T-shirts are the play here, guys, but c’mon. Loosen the double-windsor. You from out of town?
Adding to the scene is the “semi-secret” next-door joint called Marianne’s, where you can drink after 2 a.m. with Jack Dorsey and Kobe Bryant, when he’s in town (never?). So it’s got that going for it. Which is nice.
But The Cavalier’s issue isn’t the people, or that the food can’t reach the highest highs—it’s consistency. We’ve seen mixed results with the same dishes on repeat visits, which is a cardinal sin. (Same issue with the cocktails.)
Because of its prime location and pretty good eats, we’ll probably be back at The Cavalier semi-frequently. We just wish it were a bit better.
A good start. Knock back a few, nothing to see here.
Duck Duck Scotch Egg
Not sure if the name is alluding to how many animals had to be harvested to make this, or what. Scotch eggs done well are one of the world’s great foods—eggs wrapped in meat, fried up? We imagine the inventor was a few deep on peat whisky. Unfortunately this version was merely okay. The meat and egg tasted about the same, and we didn’t get much duck flavor. Also please don’t insult us by putting fruit and greens next to this fried abomination. We all know what’s going on here.
Blue Bar Burger
The meat juices really flow, if you know what we’re saying. Recommend.
Prime example of the consistency issue. The first time they were absolutely epic—probably the best fries we’ve had in SF. The second time…eh. They were fine. Aren’t fries supposed to be easy?
Fish and Chips
The fish was nicely cooked and the breading was good. Only complaint is that the whole dish was kind of bland. Didn’t really have the seasoning kick to take this to the next level.
Pork and Beef Bangers
As a wholehearted endorser of all things salt and fat, this is weird to say—this was too salty and fatty. Again, not bad, like most things at the Cavalier, just not great.
This dish was odd. A bunch of cooked-down greens slathered in oil and salt sounds good, but they tasted a bit sour. Definitely not worth having on your table.