by susan dyer reynolds
I t had been nearly a year since I checked out the carnivorous offerings at Osso, the stylish Art Deco-inspired steakhouse on Nob Hill. I was a huge fan of the bone-in filet mignon at Bobo’s when Jerry Dal Bozzo was part owner there, so I expected the quality of the steaks at Osso to rival Bobo’s when he sold his interest and opened his new place.
My first visit to Osso shortly after they opened proved the steaks not only rivaled those at Bobo’s, they were even better. And so, for my birthday dinner last month, I chose Osso as the destination (as an added perk, they offer free valet parking). Their signature steak, the bone-in filet mignon, which also happens to be my favorite, now comes in three sizes: petite (8 ounces, $39.95), big (16 ounces, $49.95), and gladiator (22 ounces, $69.95). I went for the big (it was my birthday, so I felt no guilt whatsoever). It arrived at the table sizzling in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, the aroma of garlic and rosemary wafting through the air. The caramelized crust was reminiscent of the bark on the very best brisket you can imagine; dark, crisp, and smoky, creating the perfect seal to keep all the juices inside the meat. The interior was a meltingly tender, evenly rosy medium rare.
Bone-in filet mignon is different than its boneless counterpart — the bone imparts immense flavor, and the texture is more like that of a rib eye, including the intense marbling. I thought I would be taking some steak home to share with my pit bull, Skylar, but I couldn’t stop (it was my birthday, though I did feel a twinge of guilt).
I didn’t think it was possible for the bone-in filet mignon at Osso to get any better, but it has. If you love steak, you have to head to Osso. In my opinion, it’s the best steak in town.
Osso Steakhouse: 1177 California Street (at Jones), 415-771-6776, ossosteakhouse.com