Monday, May 31, 2010
"Why are you crying???!!!!" a mother shrieked at her little prisoner as we dashed past her outdoor table to enter Dish Restaurant. It was no less chaotic inside during their first official day of business.
We placed our order at the counter:
... and received a number card to display at our table. When I asked the cashier if we could collect our brewed coffees she replied, "that's what the number is for."
We waited for 25 minutes for our magic number to conjure caffeine but ended up asking one of the employees whisking around the dining room if we could secure our stimulants which materialized as marvelous mugs of Equator Coffee.
Our brew bridged the wait for a Benedicty assembly of poached eggs, roasted peppers, ham ($7.50):
... with a pesto sauce on an English muffin. The eggs had nice runny yolks but an extra squeeze of lemon juice would have brightened this morning melange.
An overcooked omelet ($9.75):
... with a dice of ham, a little bit of Gruyere and an odd addition of crunchy croutons wasn't our thing but we ordered a side of chili cheese fries ($7.50):
... as part of our balanced breakfast. This heap of fried potatoes, chili, and melted white cheddar was excellent hangover food (even though we did not ingest it for medicinal purposes.)
The overwhelmed crew managed to eventually get everyone fed and out the door without fatalities (which qualifies as success on a restaurant's first day.) We didn't expect the food or service to do anything but hint at things to come and even though we were surrounded by scattered service, subpar chow and screaming children, there were indications that this may eventually become a good place to grab a bite - if they continue to dish it out, we will take it (without crying.)
507 Miller Ave.
Mill Valley, CA
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Bistro Central Parc is a much needed Western Addition addition breathing a breath of fresh French air to a neighborhood in need of well-priced, noteworthy nourishment.
The wood and copper accented dining room was filled with sunlight as we settled in for a glass of refreshing 2007 Chateau de Berne Cotes de Provence Rosé.
Melted brie crept into the crispy crevices of a potato pancake ($9.50):
... perched on a mound of mizuna. A criss cross of red wine reduction and shallots flattered this flavorful formation.
Garlic-scented snails ($9.50):
... nestled in nooks of parsley butter in a trail of tender escargot. We made quick work of this slow food.
Seared scallops ($17.50):
... on a disc of delectable risotto with a moat of marvelous lobster sauce was a lush, sea-dimensional serving washed down with waves of a crisp, Chilean, Sauvignon Blanc.
A fabulous filet beefed up with foie gras and a sweet potato flourish sat atop potatoes gratin in a wonderful rendition of Tournedos Rossini ($28.00):
Black truffles added to this bovinity herded to hedonism with a glass of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre.
A creamy nougat glacé ($7.50):
... was accented with red wine caramel and an almond tuille while a warm "volcan au chocolat" ($7.50):
... had a molten middle erupting with cherries. Both were spring loaded with sugar spirals which wound up this reputable repast.
We had the opportunity to tell Chef/owner Jacques Manuera and Chef de Cuisine Nicolas Jardin:
... how much we enjoyed our evening before leaving this chic center of French flair (that we wish was in our neighborhood.)
Bistro Central Parc
560 Central Ave.
San Francisco, CA
Saturday, May 29, 2010
We first met Chef Dan Scherotter a few years ago hopping around Pebble Beach:
... and have enjoyed his chow at various events around San Francisco (including one where he exposed to his giant zuke):
... so we really should have visited his restaurant long ago, but at least we made it in time to help ring in the 20 year anniversary of his FiDining fixture - Palio D'Asti (named for the famed Siena horse race.)
The dinner menu is structured by how many courses you prefer. You can go with two ($29), three ($37), four ($45) or beyond (AQ).
We left the starting gate with a potent Whole Wheat Old Fashioned ($7.00) with cane sugar, fresh orange and Marachino cherry and a bourbon-based rosemary "Sweet Tea" ($7.00):
... which was a refreshing citrus-kissed, Moscato d'Asti spritzed, herbal elevator to the Roman fried baby artichokes with Meyer lemon aioli:
Perfectly seared dayboat scallops (two per order):
... were dotted with fried capers and strewn with braised peppers in this shore thing washed down with prosecco.
Dates, walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette over hearts of romaine:
... combined sweet, rich, tangy, crunchy and crisp flavors and textures in this synthesis of sensations that sang with a 2006 Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina.
House made ravioli:
... were plumped with ricotta and porcini before cushioning slivers of asparagus in this buttery bed of pasta pillows tucked in with a 2008 Di Giovanna Nerello Mascalese.
A 2007 d'Antiche Terre Greco di Tufo accented the sweet chunks of Dungeness crab netted in a tangle of oregano-scented, tomato-tinged, linguini:
... while house made spaghetti swirled around veal meatballs:
These Reggiano-riddled noodles were infused with veal baconated tomato sauce gilded by a glass of 2005 Reversanti Barolo.
Garum is Roman fish sauce which was used to unsheathe the grilled swordfish:
... with a shield of salsa verde, spring favas, peas, cipollini onions and artichokes.
...was plastered with mustard and breadcrumbs in this roasted rack of suckling sheep while a sumptuous shank sugo with pistachios added richness and depth countered by the lightness of snap peas, carrots and mint.
Buttermilk panna cotta ($8.00):
... with blood orange sauce and supremed orange segments with a glass of 2007 Batasiolo Moscato di Asti and a chocolate hazelnut mousse chocolate cake with espresso gelato ($9.00):
... sweetly brought us into the home stretch capped off by an espresso and glass of pinot noir derived grappa in a deconstructed caffe correcto.
Chocolatier Blue's chocolates in rosemary and dark chocolate:
... consumed the last crevice of our contentment as we relished the wondrous wares of this racy restaurant which warranted a photo start and finish.
640 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA
Friday, May 28, 2010
Breaking the first rule of Ramen Club:
... means talking about the kick of kimchee that shot through my mouth in this brothy bowl of house made noodles that didn't go limp or tap out.
I ordered extra pork with my garlic ramen ($8.95 plus $1.75 for more pork):
... which added to the meaty mayhem at this fun and funky place to plug in for some slurpable swine.
I (or my alter ego) will return.
723 California Dr.
Mark your Calendar
The fried green beans:
... and vacherin:
... at Coco500 have been etched into the craving quadrants of San Francisco cerebellums over the last 5 years. The demi-decade demarkation is being celebrated with five dollar signature dishes including squash blossom flat bread, Cocomole tacos and those famous beans. A selection of wines and draft beer will also lose you just a Lincoln in this fin-tastic deal that takes place M-F from 4-6 p.m. during June.
500 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The rain turned everything inside out today. The ferry building farmers market formation inverted to shelter shoppers and my chow followed suit.
Everyone's heard of bacon-wrapped hot dogs, but now bacon-stuffed hot dogs have rolled onto the scene. 4505's bacon dog ($5) is an expression of this porky snappatude.
These uncured casings of contentment cured my case of hunger with belly-basted batons. I enjoyed this stripped-down dog just before the stand sold out of these winning wieners.
Rein-forcemeats will be available at the Saturday market or you can pick some up (to grill yourself) at Bi Rite Market and Golden Gate Meats.
Mark your Calendar
Cochon 555 is trotting back to San Francisco to crown the new "Prince of Porc". The line up of chefs, drinks and butchers are sueeeeet at this event promoting heritage pigs in the most convincing way.
The VIP portion includes a demo by Dave the butcher, Daniel Hyatt's cocktails and an opportunity to meet the chefs, winemakers and judges. Ryan Farr will sever some swine during the main event where guests will sample the competing chefs' creations.
Check out the full (and impressive) list of participants here.
And use these nifty codes to save some $$$.
$15 off GA: farmfresh
$25 off VIP: VIP
June 6, 2010
$200 VIP 3:30 p.m - $125 General admission 5 p.m.
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I morpheused the Oracle to see if I was "the one" destined to have lunch at the Curry Up Now truck where I hacked into their system of flavorful fusion food.
My chicken tikka masala burrito ($6.75):
... was a fragrant (no-naan-scents) wrap in a flour tortilla. I was cautioned that "hot" means very hot and took this big red pill to lead me down a flavorful rabbit hole of garbanzo beans, methi pulao, chana, basmati and pickled onions.
There were other flavoring agents available:
... to enhance this big bullet with a spicy impact. I'll have to enter this masala matrix again.
Curry Up Now
location changes, noted on web site
Mark your Calendar
Tastes, tipple and tunes will shake and stir during the SummerTini event featuring fine foodstuffs including bites from 4505, Lark Creek Steak and Millennium.
Sip on a martini as you listen to the San Francisco Bourbon Kings at this benefit for CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Service) kitchen training and placement program for transitionally situated students.
Internships at restaurants including Coi, Nopa and Palio d'Asti fold in real world skills to see if they have the chops for this busting business.
Friday, June 4
Tickets $75 - $150 each
San Francisco Design Center
101 Henry Adams St.
San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I checked the twitter account for Curry Up Now before I went out tweat. I had been curry-ous about this mobile-teria but gave up waiting for this vanteen to show up outside of YouTube HQ when my tank ran low.
Vietnam Village looked like a good place to nam, so I got a bowl of pho ($6.95):
... with rare and well-cooked beef. The warming broth needed a boost from the roost sauce after I added some vegetal variance from basil, sprouts and peppers.
I pulled out of this quick and peppy soup stop to find the curry truck outside reminding me to double back at a later date.
12 Bayhill Shopping Center
San Bruno, CA
Monday, May 24, 2010
A parade of middle-aged women blew kisses and flirted with Poggio's barman, Tony, as they tucked their tummies up to the bar to get their cocktail on.
We nibbled on grissini while taking in Tony's tales of his mother in law as he shook up a potent Manhattan Italiano with whisky, Nardini Amaro, angostura bitters and a maraschino cherry ($10.00) before topping off a glass of limoncello and grapefruit juice with prosecco ($9.00).
Oak grilled lamb tongue ($9.00):
... with marinated beets, boiled egg and mustard greens stuck out as plate-lickingly pleasing with melting mouth morsels, runny yolk and herbaceous shoots.
Chicken livers ($10.00):
... with cherries, balsamic vinegar and a blonde romesco were luscious lumps of offowl with a hit of sweet fruit, tangy vinegar and rich romesco strewn with rocket.
Our wonderful offal with swell swigs amidst an amorous audience made for a satisfying stop in Sausalito.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Louis Roederer Champagne:
... set the tone for our dinner at Chevalier Restaurant this evening.
Foie gras ($24.50):
... was presented both hot and cold - seared over brioche with spinach and brandied cherries in addition to a torchon with caramelized pears. These luxe dux took flight.
Goat cheese was herded between layers of tuna tartare ($16.00):
... and topped with a quail egg in this shoyu-kissed, crouton covering with a mound of mesclun. We swam through this signature seafood sensation.
Phyllo-wrapped pillows of goat cheese ($9.50):
... with bits of basil tucked into the cases were fried in olive oil to produce crisp crusted parcels with punctuation from pear, almond, tomato and greens unified by a lemon-thyme vinaigrette with a bright, crisp, green apple of a 2007 Vielles Vignes Sancerre.
John Dory ($32.00):
... was hunky dory in a saffron and curry jus studded with Nicoise olives, tomatoes, onions, carrot and asparagus on a bed of mashed fingerling potatoes complemented with a 2007 Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuissé.
A perfectly cooked beef tenderloin Rossini ($38.00):
... in a black truffle port sauce was gilded with a medallion of foie gras and bordered by ratatouille, little puffs of potatoes beignets and a bouquet of green beans bound with bacon. A 2003 Chateau de Malleret, Haut-Medoc Bordeaux beefed up the bliss of this ducky steak.
Lemon sorbet with Absolut lemon vodka ($9.50):
... was intoxicatingly refreshing with an astringent, smooth, puckery punch followed up by a jab of hot chocolate cake ($7.50):
... with creme Anglaise paired perfectly with the caramel notes of a 20 year old Dow Porto.
A cloud of Grand Marnier souffle ($12.00):
... with Napoleon sauce had us floating out the door of this lovable, Lafayette restaurant in a strip of businesses that camouflage the culinary oasis and garden hidden around the corner.
Our friends who live down the street must have been hiding this haunt for themselves. We will have to return with C and M to show off our newfound knowledge of Chef Philippe Chevalier's fabulous French fabrications.
960 Moraga Road
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The waitress apologized profusely as we high tailed it out of Yankee Pier this evening. All of the diners at tables bordering the noise explosion epicenter shot WTF glances at each other as the disruptive decibels dominated the dining room. It wasn't a little bit of extra jovial, drunken, laughter - I'm talking about modulations that made the table in question (loudly) reflect on how they were bound to be kicked out.
We turned our table in record time after suffering through some rubbery calamari ($9.95):
... before a dry portion of blackened escolar ($23.50):
... with a side of slightly undercooked Brussels sprouts in a sherry vinaigrette and a pleasant marinated and grilled artichoke "confit". The high note was my grilled salmon ($27.00):
... which was delivered to my requested "extra rare" (with the same side selections as Chubby's).
The Honig Sauvignon Blanc didn't abate the amplification so we past our payment to our server as we plowed through our dinner so we could return to our hutch to enjoy dessert in peace.
286 Magnolia Ave.
A Bunrab reader gave this shout out after we wrote about another recent audible assault:
Was last night the night for loud-mouthed diners? We were enjoying a delightful meal at Gary Danko last night until the "gentleman" seated next to me began lecturing his date about the proper way to pair wines with food in an obscenely loud voice.
After the server took his order he spent the next few minutes loudly criticizing her food knowledge. And even scooted over to our table to stick his face in our plates and see what we were eating. I actually had to ask him to back off. It takes all kinds, I suppose. Love love love your blog!
Maybe it's due to the high level of unemployment that so many people are working their mouths.
||Friday, May 21, 2010
My pal R. took me out for lunch at Amberjack. This sardine-sized sushi center seats 5 at the bar and has only 4 tables.
We noshed on nigiri at this friendly and funky seafood setup offering midday meals of fresh fish.
72E. Blithedale Ave.
Mill Valley, CA