Ever since Redfin real estate named our local neighborhood, Bernal Heights, the “Hottest Neighborhood of 2014”, there seemed to be a shift in the food scene…. for the better. Before Redfin’s big announcement, Cortland Avenue’s food was comprised of mostly comfort Italian and French, decent sushi, a handful of cheaper ethnic restaurants, and two amazing bakeries.
Last night I visited Red Hill Station, opened up a few months ago by two alums from Anchor Oyster Bar, who happen to be Bernal residents. My tip, visit Red Hill Station while you can get in. Red Hill Station has definitely elevated the level of cooking, presentation, as well as service on Cortland Ave with their seafood-dominated menu. I was overwhelmingly surprised at the sophisticated plates, the freshness of the ingredients, and the flavor profiles coming together.
Standouts for me were the grilled calamari, which had a nice smokey flavor and was served with a compote of figs for some sweetness – a pair I never would have imagined, but worked well. In addition, the baked cod served with farro and cherry tomatoes was melt-in-your mouth goodness. The cod was buttery, the tomatoes had a nice acidic addition, and the farro was slightly sweet with a perfect chewy texture.
The dishes are very sophisticated, however, the service and the atmosphere are perfect for our family-friendly, down-to-earth neighborhood. Upon entering the small venue, one is greeted with huge smiles, amazing garlic cured olives, and an ocean-themed game for your kids to play. Red Hill Station is a perfect addition to Bernal: a place where kids are as welcome as extremely refined palates.