My birthday week ended with dinner at Gary Danko in San Francisco. It was time to try the #1 Bay Area Zagat rated restaurant. When we arrived we were seated in a cozy corner booth. We were surprised to see that the place was packed on a Thursday night in November. I guess you don’t have a slump in business when you are so highly acclaimed. We started with a couple glasses of bubbly as we looked over the menu. One gripe about the menu… I thought the choice of wine by the glass was limited and the prices exorbitant. After the shock wore off I moved to the food. You have the option to have a 3, 4 or 5 course meal. We went with 3 since we had already partook in 3 other “b” day dinners over the last 7 days. To my delight there was an abundance of lobster on the menu that I just couldn’t pass up.
Risotto with Lobster, Shimeji Mushrooms and Butternut Squash
Crispy Farm Egg with White Polenta, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Frisée and Pancetta
Roast Maine Lobster with Potato Purée, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Corn and Tarragon
Horseradish Crusted Salmon Medallion with Dilled Cucumbers and Mustard Sauce
Baked Chocolate Soufflé with Two Sauces
Warm Louisiana Butter Cake with Caramelized Apples, Huckleberry Compote and Vanilla Ice Cream
Complimentary birthday lemon tart
Complimentary plate of bite size treats
The standout dish of the night was hands down the crispy farm egg. Imagine eating a deep fried poached egg. Pure deliciousness! Runner up was the roast lobster which was cooked perfectly and served with super buttery potatoes. The remaining dishes were nothing special. The risotto was a bit bland and the salmon dry. Dessert arrived and continue to arrive. They really like to dish out the sweets! Mike loved the butter cake with apples so much so that he really didn’t share.
The service was the way I like it…not overly attentive. They came around when we needed them then left us to enjoy ourselves. I especially appreciated the woman who would refill our bread plates after each course. I hate being given a single roll at the beginning of a meal and then nothing more.
Overall the food and setting was great but not the best in the Bay Area. The evening ended with our server giving us a fancy packaged banana cream cheese muffin (for the morning — which was yummy). If I were to go again I would do as the couple next to us did. Bring my own bottle of wine and order the 3 course menu but get 1 dessert and the cheese course to share. The cheese cart looked fabulous.
Sorry about the hazy cell phone pics. It was dark.