Relaxing Booze and Brunch at 15 Romolo

Brunch is kind of a “thing” in San Francisco. Like hipsters and burritos and bicycles, people here just love to love brunch. Long lines and long waits in tiny spaces are common—and admittedly, the food is often delicious enough to go through the pain.

But sometimes you don’t want all that trouble. You actually want to wake up easily, take a slow city stroll, and then sit down to feed your weary tummy, no doubt worn out with the rest of your body from the work week.

15 Romolo was somewhat of a dream in this regard.

The bar is best known as a saloon-style cocktail watering hole that prides itself on cocktails made from fresh ingredients in an unpretentious environment (which you might find a bit of a surprise, based on the many seedy strip clubs that light up the street outside).

But in the weekend morning light, which slides into the warm afternoon, 15 Romolo transforms into a low-key, relaxing brunch spot with fantastic food and expert drinks.

Most bars would be courageous to expose their sticky insides in the light of day. But even in the clarity of morning, 15 Romolo holds up beautifully. Sunshine falls generously through the bar’s wall of open windows to reveal clean tables and clean chairs in a slow and easy environment.

When you first walk in, you're greeted by this majestic punch bowl. Fancy, fancy!

The saloon ambiance is so relaxing.

Brunch at 15 Romolo

I loved the table asthetic.

I ordered a glass of punch. One of the gentlemen working there informed us that the punch was especially good that morning. It's a strong potion that included Highland Park Whiskey 12, maraschino liqueur, orange bitters, vanilla, cardammon, pin rum, lemon, grapefruit, and yellow chartreuse.

They topped mine with a gorgeous slice of blood red orange.

Josh got a Pimm's Cup—which is a very light and refreshing version of the drink. In its more classic form, the drink can be a bit heavier and bitter. The lighter twist made it perfect for brunch. 

Everyone who comes gets a free waffle shot to start their meal. The waffle stick is fresh and hot, and the liqueur tastes like maple syrup. 

Josh got the tofu scramble, which is completely vegan. And completely delicious. The scramble was packed with buttery spices.

I ordered Romolo's Home Skillet. Braised beef. Sweet potato hash. Cabbage/raddichio slaw. Blood orange vin. Chipotle aioli. Perfectly poached egg. Oh, oh, oh! So delicious. 

The poached egg even had this lovely sprinkling of sea salt.

We enjoyed the food so much, that we were tempted into ordering these pillow-light biscuits with honey/shallot butter.

15 Romolo
15 Romolo Place  San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 398-1359

5 responses
Romolo looks like a nice place: The neighbourhood even looks a little like mine; brunch is a pretty big deal here in DC, too. While on my quest for that magical whisky, a chef came out to tell me that he'd be willing to make potato skins just to get us to Sunday brunch. Ours usually features some Champagne drink. Regional features of the custom would make an interesting survey.
Ernie - I remember what a big deal brunch is in DC! When I lived there, brunch was actually a way bigger deal than here in SF! I did feel there were more brunch options in DC, as well—primed to meet the demand, I suppose. A champagne drink to go with brunch sounds really lovely. Hope we start to see some of that here! :-)
I am slowly catching up w/ your blog! It's all awesome, but this post inspired me to comment: (a) That photo reminds me that I still need a punch ladle!!! and (b) They serve food here?!?!?! OMG, please, please, please promise to take me if we promise to come visit!
Dawn, yes, you must, must, must come with us when you come visit!! The brunch is just delightful. And at such good prices. I believe during the evenings they have small bar bites, but I really enjoy the full brunch atmosphere. Book your tickets!! ;-) As for the punch ladle—Josh and I found one at the thrift store, along with the rest of the punch bowl, punch glasses, and several other choice pieces of barware. In fact, there is a very well-regarded restaurant and bar here that stocked its full bar with trips to Goodwill. You should check it out!
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