We had 7pm reservations, so I left home around 6pm - SF traffic is so unpredictable. No accidents or stalls - just clear sailing. I made it by 6:30. Drove up to the front of the restaurant and valet parked the car. Boy was I early! I could have sat in the bar, I guess. Felt like a "tourist" as I stared at the jelly fish lamps on the way to the rest room. Luckily, Joey, showed up a few minutes after I did and we were seated early.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. I had checked out the menu earlier and had pretty much figured out what I wanted. =) Joey asked our waitress about the specials and the wines - specifically pinot noirs. She was very knowledgeable, but she ended up sending the sommelier over. Joey knew which region he wanted to try - and there were three from there and on the recommendation of the sommelier, we had the 2003 pinot noir from August West (Santa Lucia Highlands Rosella's Vineyard 2003). It was lovely - very fruity/no tanins and I did drink almost half a glass =)
We did nosh our way through the menu - and we basically passed the plates back and forth. Yum!!! We munched on:
- BLACK BASS CARPACCIO: yuzu cucumber consomme, crisp ginger, salmon caviar (the ginger made the dish!)
- SEARED DIVER SEA SCALLOPS: serrano ham, gypsy pepper piperade, almond cream (the piperade was just a fancy name for a red bell pepper/onion/other veggies stir fry and it was so-so. The scallops were wonderful!)
- CHESAPEAKE BAY SOFT SHELL CRABS: Tuscan bread salad, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, basil aioli (MY FAVORITE! Yum!!!)
- WHOLE ROASTED SQUAB BREAST: Potato gnocchi, golden chanterelles, huckleberries (The breast was stuffed with a mushroom mixture that was wonderful. I would definitely get this one again)
- ROASTED WILD STRIPED BASS: Fondant potatoes, romano beans, dungeness crab bearnaise (roasted potatoes with saffron topping - yum! string beans are still string beans - Joey ate them all *weg* loved the crab sauce)
- SUMMER BERRY PUDDING: berry compote soaked brioche, vanilla chantilly (raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, blackberries and strawberries!!!)
- CHOCOLATE WALNUT BROWNIE CAKE: whiskey brown sugar bananas, cream cheese ice cream (chocolate... OY!!!!)
- SMALL ENDINGS: handmade confections (lavender-blueberry marshmallow in the shape of a butterfly. rose water/almond cookie with strawberry jam filling. lots more.
Around the rim of the brownie cake plate? "Happy Birthday Deb" written in dark chocolate...
We didn't get out of there until 10pm!!!
Domo arigato gozaimasu Joey!!! T'was a very special evening.
Edit (09-03-05 11:05am): Joey's post with PICS