Aatxe Restaurant A San Francisco Hotspot You Should Know Lead By Chef Ryan Pollnow
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Aatxe (pronounced “ah-chay”) one of the new restaurant’s within the Ne Timeas Group which you may know as the team behind flour + water, Central Kitchen, Salumeria and most recently Cafe Du Nord in acclaimed Swedish American Hall in San Francisco’s Upper Market neighborhood.
What is Aatxe? Aatxe is a restaurant and bar that celebrates regional Spanish cuisine and culture with an influence from the Basque Country. After experiencing Aatxe myself I can say it’s great. Definitely a must try in the San Francisco restaurant scene.
What is so fabulous and why go? The restaurant is led by Partner/Executive Chef Ryan Pollnow. For those of you that don’t know Ryan yet, get to know him. He’s a super star amongst the Ne Timeas Group having served as Chef at flour + water and most recently, Central Kitchen prior to the Aatxe opening in April of 2015.
Who else says Ryan is fabulous? Many people! In 2013, while at Central Kitchen Ryan earned acclaim from Zagat, recognizing him as a “30 Under 30” up-and-comer on the Bay Area food scene.
Partner/Executive Chef Ryan Pollnow
Why Spanish cuising? Ryan credits his time in Spain for teaching him to appreciate cuisine driven by vegetables, both cultivated and wild. “My time at Mugartiz (Spain) was more than just cooking – I left Spain completely in love with everything about the country and quickly developed a dream to one day open my own Spanish-style restaurant.”
What I loved about Aatxe and why I recommend it?
Location. Location. Location. Aatxe has an awesome mid Market Street location. This is the new and emerging hot area in San Francisco. Think Hecho (delicious mexican with gorgeous servers). Cafe Du Nord. Frances. You get the idea….
The Restaurant Vibe: I love the vibe and cozy feel of the restaurant. It offers an intimate setting with the bar on one side and the dining room plus chef’s counter on the other side. (J.S.F. tip, request the Chef’s Counter with your reservation for amazing views of the kitchen and Chef Ryan in action).
Our fabulous front row Chef’s Counter seats, just beside Chef Ryan overlooking the kitchen. This is my favorite spot at any restaurant as close to the action as possible.
How is the food? The delicious flavorful food created by talented and adorable Chef Ryan is amazing. Trust me. When you meet Ryan you’ll see why I say he’s adorable! On top of being super talented, Chef Ryan is a very nice, friendly guy who’s extremely dedicated to the success of Aatxe. This was evident throughout my meal as I saw first hand the detail he put checking every dish, ensuring it’s taste and presentation was perfect.
Patatas Bravas which were tasty with a nice crispy taste and a delicious tomato sauce
The Green Olive Flatbread
The Gambas al Ajillo which were divine. If you like garlic you must try these. So tasty!
Trumpet Mushrooms a la Plancha. The favorite dish of the meal. Ironic since we didn’t order this, it was a surprise from Chef Ryan and it is amazing…. I love the combination of the mushrooms, vegetables, bread and cheese. Absolutely amazing!
A few dishes that came out of the kitchen I took a peek at and was drooling over….
What makes Aatxe a J.S.F. hot spot? I believe Aatxe is the whole package. Not only a hot location, with a cool decor. It also has great food and cocktails from people who genuinely pour their hearts into the experience for their guests. This type of experience and interaction with friendly knowledgeable servers, managers, and chefs is what differentiates a “good” restaurant from a truly “exceptional” one. Kudos to Chef Ryan and his team for making Aatxe truly exceptional. 2174 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
See you and the Aatxe team shortly at San Francisco’s Eat Drink SF 2015 Festival, August 20th – 23rd.
Restaurant interior pictures courtesy of Eater.com