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    © 2008-2017 Nicole (a.k.a. Bay Area Foodie)
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Frances SF

Amazing meal. Worth all the hype. Make a reservation! After 4+ years people are still sitting on the curb outside for hours waiting to grab a table.

Website: http://www.frances-sf.com/
Rating:
drumstick ratingdrumstick ratingdrumstick ratingdrumstick rating

Absinthe Restaurant

Ever since I saw Jamie on Top Chef I’ve wanted to try Absinthe. Even after her departure the restaurant remained on my radar. We finally stopped in for dinner. Everything was good but of note were the pretzels which were really little bite size garlic rolls. Insanely good. I could have eaten a dozen. The mussels/clams were also delish and a steal for $15!

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SOFT GARLIC PRETZELS
Vermont cheddar Mornay

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FRENCH ONION SOUP GRATINEE

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PEI MUSSELS & MANILA CLAMS
andouille sausage,roasted bell peppers, lemon-chardonnay sauce, spiced crostini

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COQ AU VIN
red Burgundy-braised Mary’s chicken,
bacon, roasted crimini mushrooms, crostini, persillade

Rating: drumstick ratingdrumstick ratingdrumstick ratinghalfdrumstick

Website: http://www.absinthe.com/

Pizzeria Delfina


Mike had some work to do in the City so I decided to tag along, especially since it was near the Mission, and I have wanted to try Pizzeria Delfina forever. I know I eat a lot of pizza but it is my favorite food so get used to it.

Pizzeria Delfina features six Neapolitan inspired, thin crust pizzas and two daily-changing special pies and a “piatto del giorno” from the oven. The food is Italian in spirit, using local, seasonal ingredients.

This location is super tiny … in order to leave Mike had to ask the table next to us to move over just so he could squeeze between the tables.

This is what we ate:

Insalata Tricolore


Special pasta of the day: Mac & cheese with meaty sauce  (I forget the official name)

Salsiccia Pizza
Housemade fennel sausage, tomato, bell peppers, onions, mozzarella

Everything was delicious and fresh. I could have eaten a vat of that pasta and the pizza had great crust… not overly blistered. For dessert we walked down the street to Bi-rite Creamery.

Rating: 

Website: http://pizzeriadelfina.com/

Smitten Ice Cream


Smitten Ice Cream first gained popularity when owner Robyn Sue hit the streets of SF pulling a red wagon equipped with a homemade liquid nitrogen run ice cream machine named “kelvin.”  Eventually she opened a brick and mortar store in a converted shipping container in Hayes Valley. Mike and I finally had the opportunity to check it out 2 weeks ago. The shop has 4 “kelvin” machines and each makes a single flavor: vanilla, chocolate and two seasonal flavors (that change daily). Every single scoop is made to order in 60 seconds using liquid nitrogen! It will be the freshest, coolest, creamiest ice cream you’ve ever had!

Check out our ice cream being made:

The final product…..

Ritual Coffee with Cocoa Nib brittle (left) and Strawberry pink peppercorn with lemon caramel sauce* (right)

I’m sure the vanilla and chocolate are good but if you’re making a special trip to this place be adventurous and try the suggested flavor combination of the day as I did*.

Website: http://smittenicecream.com/

Smitten Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

NOPA San Francisco


NOPA is located north of the panhandle in San Francisco and serves up rustic wood-fired cuisine. We stopped in for brunch on a Sunday morning and it was standing room only. Luckily I made a reservation.

We were immediately seated at a table upstairs overlooking all the action. We had a view of  the open kitchen, bustling bar and main seating area.

Since we were going to watch a movie following our meal Mike and I decided to share a few apps and a main so we didn’t feel bloated in the theater. We decided on the following…

Goat Cheese Bread Pudding w/ Sautéed Chanterelles and Upland Cress

Bread puddings can sometimes be heavy… this was light and flavorful.

Oven Baked Farm Egg w/ Spiced Tomato, Shaved Pantaleo and Grilled Bread

So,so good. We slopped up every last bite of the spice laden sauce with our toasty bread. It seemed to have every spice under the sun in it (cardamon, cinnamon, cumin, coriander) but it worked.

Grass Fed Hamburger – Bacon, Pickled Onions and Herbed French Fries

The burger was perfectly pink and juicy and the fries were a thicker version of In-N-Out but much better tasting.

This is a great spot to have a homey meal in an energetic environment.

Website: http://nopasf.com/

Nopa on Urbanspoon

Umami Burger

When humans eat, they use all of their senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) to form general judgments about their food, but it is taste that is the most influential in determining how delicious a food is. Conventionally, it has been thought that our sense of taste is comprised of four basic, or ‘primary’, tastes, which cannot be replicated by mixing together any of the other primaries: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. However, it is now known that there is actually the fifth primary taste: umami
Umami Information Center

Umami burger if you are not familiar is a beloved Southern Cali chain that has now opened up on Union Street in San Francisco. When we arrived on a Monday night at 5:30pm the small space was almost empty. I made sure to come at a non-peak time to avoid the long waits I’ve read about.

I went with the signature Umami burger and Mike chose the Manly burger and we shared the truffle cheese fries. When everything arrived I was surprised by the petite size of the burgers (they look larger in photos). I gotta be honest we were hungry… we both downed our burgers within 4-5 bites so I can’t give you a real in-depth evaluation. All I know was mine was sweet and had kind of an Asian vibe and Mike’s had little yummy bacon lardons. Oh, and when I took my first bite my wedding ring was swimming in meat drippings (which was a good thing). The burger was cooked to perfection at medium rare which is their standard. It was juicylicious!

Manly burger (beer cheddar, onion rings,bacon) & Umami burger (shiitake shroom,onion,roasted tomato,parm crisp)

The truffle cheese fries (not on the menu but should be) were great and not overly truffley. They came with a trio of sauces but what I liked best was the homemade ketchup which kinda tasted like it was made with brown sugar.

We will have to go back again to savor the flavor.

Note: I thought we were going to leave hungry but in the end we were perfectly full. No burger bloat.

Rating:

Website: http://umamiburger.com/

Umami Burger on Urbanspoon

Zero Zero Restaurant


We were in the city checking out the wine exhibit (which was pretty cool) at SFMOMA. After we needed to eat so I jumped on Yelp to see what was in walking distance and I was pleasantly surprised to find Zero Zero. I had heard many good things about their food. We arrived at 2pm just in time to catch the tail end of the Saturday brunch service.

We decided to go with a couple pizzas as well as the special of the day: short rib hash, fried egg & mini biscuits. Who would pass that up?!

Top: Castro - Sopressata, Sausage, Mozzarella, Basil....... Bottom: Margherita


Everything was delicious. I especially loved the Castro pie which had  really creamy cheese. We of course left room for dessert — the make your own sundae! Following your meal you receive a mini golf pencil and a piece of paper filled with scrumptious toppings. We could not decide on just one so we made two, half-orders (which were huge).

We are oh so bad…………

#1 Straus organic soft serve vanilla ice cream with Chamomile Poached Strawberries and sugar coated Ricotta Doughnuts on the side.

#2 Straus organic soft serve vanilla/chocolate swirled ice cream with Chocolate Lava Cake and Bacon Brittle.

These were oh so good………..

Some talk about how great the ice cream is but really it’s all about the toppings! Tell me your mouth is not watering…

Website: http://www.zerozerosf.com/

By the way there were 3 people eating so don’t think we are total pigs…

Zero Zero on Urbanspoon

Heaven’s Dog


A friend from LA was in town for business and staying near the Moscone center. I needed to find a place to go for dinner and drinks on a Friday night near by with only a few days notice. Heaven’s dog was one of the few restaurants I could make a reservation before 9pm and I had read that they were known for their cocktails and our friend is all about getting her drink on. I figured a Charles Phan spot had to be a safe option. He is the chef behind the famed Slanted door.

I gotta say I wasn’t impressed with the location. SOMA is not the nicest area. We had a hard time finding the restaurant as it is small with minimal signage. Inside it was modern, dimly lit, decorated in vibrant orange and brown colors and the walls were covered in cute paintings of dogs.

They serve Chinese food here unlike the Vietnamese at Slanted door. Since they had a good selection of dim sum items and apps we decided to order a bunch and share.

What we got:

shanghai dumplings – good but I’ve had better
salt & pepper local squid – delish…favorite of the night
stuffed sweet peppers w/crab, shrimp, shallots – nothing special
braised pork belly in clam shell bun – yum… we had to get a 2nd order
black pepper flat iron steak, red onions, bell pepper – tasty but not as good as the Slanted door shaking beef
shumai pork, shrimp and shiitake dumplings – a little dry
wild mushrooms w/ noodles – oh so good
lemon tart – nice… I was hoping for a more Asian inspired dessert but this is all they had

As for the drinks they were a hit with our friend. I thought my 2 rum cocktails (Savannah Planters Punch/Bumble Bee) tasted too similar. I actually preferred the wine Mike ordered. All in all it was a fun night. We hung out for over 2 hours and were not rushed. The environment is very chill. This would be the perfect spot to get a bite & a drink after work, before a show or late night.

Note: park at the SOMA grand parking garage next door. They validate!

Rating:

Website: http://www.heavensdog.com/main/HD.html

Heaven's Dog on Urbanspoon

Town Hall Restaurant


Mike and I hit up Town Hall before checking out a screening in the City. I had heard good things about Town Hall especially the fried chicken and the Pot de Crème.

After looking over the New Orleans inspired menu Mike immediately decided he wanted to start off with the Buttermilk biscuits with Johnston family country ham & red pepper jelly. I was worried that it would be a bit heavy since I was ordering the fried chicken, and there was a nice bread basket already on the table, but when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. On the plate were 3 teeny tiny biscuits (smaller than a quarter), ham that was thinly sliced like prosciutto and some killer jelly.<sorry no picture>

For the main course Mike chose the de-constructed seafood étouffée. It looked lovely but I can’t tell you how it tasted because Mike inhaled it before giving me a bite.

Seafood étouffée -Louisiana shrimp, scallop, rockfish, crispy rice, scallions

Now on to my buttermilk fried chicken with Anson Mills grits, bacon gravy & collard greens… The chicken was sensational. Crispy and super salty – just how I like it. Mike’s reaction to the greens… “it’s like a 5 alarm fire.” It definitely brought the heat but was a nice accompaniment to the chicken cause I usually like mine with some hot sauce. The grits were creamy and delicious but the bacon gravy needed more bacon.

Then came dessert – we decided to get two because everyone says you have to try the Butterscotch and Chocolate Pot de Crème and the ‘Coffee and Doughnuts’ sounded too good to pass up. After trying both selections I’m not sure why everyone is so hyped up about the Pot de Crème (it’s pudding people!). The dessert not to miss, hands down, is the coffee and doughnuts! That rocked.

Butterscotch and Chocolate Pot de Crème topped with buttercrunch

'Coffee and Doughnuts' warm brioche donuts, Blue Bottle coffee ice cream, chicory streusel

Rating:

Website: https://www.townhallsf.com/flash/

Town Hall on Urbanspoon

Recchiuti Confections S’mores Kit

We spent Valentine’s day at home again this year but I didn’t mind because we made S’mores from Recchiuti Confections. Mike and I picked up a S’mores kit last time we were at the Ferry building in San Francisco and this was the perfect occasion to break it out.

Inside the fancy box you will find 9 handmade Marshmallows, 8 Recchiuti Grahams and a Recchiuti Bittersweet 85% Chocolate Bar.

It’s a grown up version of the classic dessert that is out of the world. The homemade graham crackers are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and the pillowy marshmallows are made with vanilla beans. You can make them in the oven (like we did since it was rainy and cold out) or you can do it the old fashioned way over an open flame.

Either way, you’ll be super happy with the results.

It’s the perfect little package. I plan on giving these out as birthday/holiday/hostess gifts this year so if you want one… invite me to a party :wink:.

Mike liked the sandwich

I preferred open face

Get yours here: http://www.recchiuti.com/109.html

Joe’s Cable Car

Joe's is not huge but don't worry it's lit up like Las Vegas so you can't miss it.

Joe’s Cable Car is another place I saw on Triple D (Diners, Drive-in & Dives) and the owners want you to remember that. There are pictures of Guy Fieri all over the interior as well as the actual episode running on a loop on a TV. The restaurant (built to look like a cable car) opened in 1965 and was originally a drive-in but has expanded over time into a small diner. The joint prides itself on its fresh ground steak burgers which come in three sizes: 4, 6, and 8 ounces. Mike and I both went with the 4 ounce since the pictures on the menu made them look like huge flying saucers and they were $12 with cheese! To my dismay when they arrived they were the size of a slider. I guess you can’t put a price-tag on quality…. the meat was very good and I loved the little sesame seed bun. We also enjoyed the fries and onion rings which were crispy and hot. You could get a similar meal for 1/2 the price but the service was good and the food tasty so I wasn’t overly concerned by the $40 price tag. It’s an experience not to miss.

Website: http://www.joescablecarrestaurant.com/

*don’t worry this was pre-cleanse

Joe's Cable Car on Urbanspoon

Humphry Slocombe ice cream


Crazy ice cream flavors in the Mission. We finally made it to Humphry Slocombe. Although it was December and freezing outside I still had to have it. I ordered the “Secret breakfast” (cornflakes & bourbon) which may sound disgusting but was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Mike opted for the “guinness gingerbread”. As an Irishman just days before Christmas he had no other choice. He liked it… let’s just say I didn’t ask for a 2nd bite but I’ve never been a fan of gingerbread. The ice cream whatever the flavor is super creamy and amazingly fresh. I hope to return in the summer to try other flavors like: blue bottle Vietnamese coffee, cream cheese chocolate chip, government cheese and sweet corn-blackberry.

* don’t worry this was pre-cleanse

Website: http://www.humphryslocombe.com/

Humphry Slocombe on Urbanspoon

Dynamo Donuts


I’m steadily crossing off items from my bucket list — dynamo donuts CHECK. I heard about this place on one of those Food Network “the best thing I ever ate” episodes when they revealed the “Maple bacon” donut at Dynamo. This was our last stop on my SF bday weekend as we headed back to San Jose.

What we got (in order of preference):

maple bacon glazed apple: like french toast and bacon, didn't taste any apple.

coconut: big slices of coconut were great.

lemon huckleberry: nice but didn't taste any lemon.

spiced chocolate: great chocolate flavor, spice was a little weird. I think I tasted chili powder.

caramel de sel: caramel was ooey gooey but tasted burnt. Didn't taste any de sel or orange zest.

These are some really good light and airy donuts. Most were missing one or more of the flavors it claimed to have but I didn’t mind. I’m usually pushin’ maximum capacity after 1 normal donut but I had no problem downing 2.5 of these in one sitting. They also have great decaf Americano. Stop by if you are in the area.

Website: http://www.dynamodonut.com/

Dynamo Donuts & Coffee on Urbanspoon

Wayfare Tavern


2010 has been a stellar year for Tyler Florence in the Bay Area. He has opened restaurants in San Francisco and Napa within the last 6 months with a third to come in Mill Valley in early 2011. Best know for his 14 year run on the Food Network with shows like “Food 911” and “Tyler’s Ultimate”, Wayfare Tavern is Florence’s first foray into the restaurant biz. I was intrigued to find out if the food that looked so good on TV could be pulled off in person so we made a reservation for my birthday.

We arrived at 6:30 pm on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, Florence wasn’t in the house because he was out on his cookbook tour. We were quickly escorted to the 2nd floor to a table right at the top of the stairs. Wayfare serves up American comfort food in a chic rustic setting (think dark woods, leather, exposed brick and mounted animal heads). To start things off Mike ordered a half bottle of RIDGE red wine. Mike was very impressed with the wine offerings. Unlike some other high end restaurants in the area the wine list is not insanely marked up. We then perused the menu … I really didn’t need to look because I knew they had fried chicken and you all know I never pass that up. Mike decided to go with the steak.

We shared the beet appetizer which was very nice. Perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the accompanying ricotta was wonderful.

roasted local beets and housemade ricotta

The mains were masterful. My chicken was juicy yet crispy and the squeeze of lemon put it over the top. It did have herbs and I usually don’t go for that but for some reason it worked in this instance.

organic fried chicken, buttermilk brine, roasted garlic, herbs, lemon

You can’t go wrong with a Santa Maria tri-tip and a boat load of fries. Mike was in meat and potatoes heaven. He thoroughly enjoyed his meal.

grilled santa maria tri-tip steak, roasted heirloom onions, truffle butter, crispy fries

We didn’t have room for coffee and dessert but we got it anyways and didn’t leave a morsel. My favorite part, of all things, was the roasted pear. It was pure sweet goodness.

Hey, Tyler…can you hook a girl up with the recipe?

sticky toffee pudding, roasted pears, black pepper ice cream

Soooo did Florence pull it off? Indeed! Yummy food, big portions, reasonable prices, great ambiance, excellent service and a super wine list. What more can you ask for? I can’t wait to try Rotisserie & Wine in Napa.

Note: When we left at 8pm the first level of the restaurant was a mad house (glad we were upstairs). It was packed to the gills with a line of folks out the door trying to get a table …Seriously people?…MAKE A RESERVATION cause business is booming!

Rating:

website: http://www.wayfaretavern.com/

Wayfare Tavern on Urbanspoon

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana


Before our trip to the Disney museum we decided to get some pizza from the highly acclaimed pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani. Tony won the award for Best Pizza Margherita at the 2007 World Pizza Cup in Italy and he’s opened up a spot in North Beach where you can try that very same pizza. We arrived at noon on a Saturday just as a line was forming at the front door. We lucked out and got seated in the back room right in front of the 900 degree wood oven where all the action happens. The place has a cool vibe. 50’s music was playing and there was a young guy with a tight t-shirt and slicked back hair working the oven. Looked like someone straight out of GREASE.


We of course were ordering the famous Margherita pizza but decided to start with the Meatballs which were moist and light — not at all heavy and the sauce was fantastic. I slopped up the leftover sauce with our bread. The pizza arrived pippin’ hot and looked scrumptious. I was worried the crust would be thin and burnt like lots of wood-fired pizzas but it was really soft and airy. How did it taste? Simply delicious. I’ll be back to try the other varieties.

Note: only 73 Margherita pies are sold a day so arrive early.

Website: http://www.tonyspizzanapoletana.com/

Tony's Pizza Napoletana on Urbanspoon

Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center


It looks like food trucks are not a fad. More and more keep popping up all over the Bay Area especially in the city. I’ve wanted to check them out but to find them you usually have to follow twitter feeds and I’m way to lazy to do that. So when I heard about “Off the grid,” a collection of over 20+ trucks/carts all in one location at the same time, I added it to my SF bday weekend list. We decided to go to the Friday night location which is held at Fort Mason center from 5-8pm and has the largest selection of carts. I was worried about November rain but we lucked out with some fantastic weather.

Upon arrival we bee-lined for the creme brulee cart because I’d heard they sell out fast and I wasn’t gonna miss out.  We chose coconut and pumpkin spice. Both were creamy and delicious. We devoured them while standing in the Chairman Bao Chinese steamed/baked buns line. The buns are what everyone comes for. The line is long and stays that way the entire night. Still in line we snacked on a dim sum sampler from Tru Gourmet which was good but nothing special. Within 30 minutes of opening the Chairman ran out of baked buns (WTF!) so we were forced to have the steamed (pork belly & duck) which were awesome and well worth the wait. Next, we had a couple tacos (asian asada & char sui) from Kung Fu tacos. Interesting flavors indeed. Having had our fill of Asian cuisine we finished off with a couple Mexican tacos (carne asada & pork/bacon) from El Huarache Loco.

Although we had to navigate around people & strollers galore (“Off the grid” seems to be the place to be for Thirty-something city folks with kids) that didn’t stop us from stuffing ourselves silly. All in all it was a fun evening.

Notes: Fort Mason location is closed for the winter. Admission is free. Food Costs: $5+

Website: http://www.offthegridsf.com/

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Off the Grid on Urbanspoon

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen


An eatery that only sells grilled cheese sandwiches. Brilliant concept. Why didn’t I think of that? Food & Wine calls AGCK one of the Best U.S. Restaurant Openings of 2010 and I agree!

This was the first stop on my mega birthday weekend in SF. We rolled up on Friday (11/12/10) at noon and it was packed, but we scored a parking spot right in front….I took it as a sign…

We ordered:

Moscone sandwich (fresh mozzarella, fontina, roasted tomatoes, basil-lavender pesto, olive tapenade) + tomato soup

Mousetrap sandwich (Tillamook sharp cheddar, havarti, monterey jack, on artisan sourdough w/bacon) + tomato soup

Everything was wonderful and comes with an apple so you can feel like you ate something healthy when you really didn’t.

Tips:

Don’t attempt to eat the croutons on their own like I did. They are super peppery.

The soup is best when you dunk your sando in it or with croutons because it’s like a tomato puree and is very acidic.

Website: http://theamericansf.com/

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Foreign Cinema


I’ve wanted to go to Foreign Cinema for many years. Mike and I finally made it for brunch. It was surprisingly warm in San Fran so we sat outside on the patio. I really liked the rustic feel. We, of course, started off with the ever popular pop tart which was warm, light, flaky and perfectly sweet. Very good interpretation of the childhood classic. I had remembered seeing Giada on one of her getaway shows order the Fried eggs deglazed with balsamic served w/rose potato-roasted garlic hash & tender greens so that’s what I decided to get. The dish was a perfect combination of salty (prosciutto), crunchy (potatoes), creamy (egg) and bitter (greens). When you got a mouthful of everything it was harmonious. Mike had never had a Croque Madame so I told him to give it a go. He enjoyed it but he has never tasted Thomas Keller’s so he has no comparison and there is no comparison. Keller’s is king.

We vow to return at night when we can see a film.

Website: http://www.foreigncinema.com/

Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

Tartine Bakery


The morning after my Gary Danko birthday meal we headed to Tartine for a quick bite before heading back to San Jose. We were unfamiliar with this part of town so we were not sure of the location but as soon as we saw the line we figured we had found it. It’s much smaller than I expected.

We ended up getting the apple bread pudding and the Croque monsieur which was cheesy, hammy, tomatoey goodness on top of a thick, crusty, scrumptious slice of bread. The pudding was just ok… the Croque was delish.

I wish we had a bigger appetite. I gotta come back to try the huge morning buns and the croissants.

Warning: the cute carrots that came with the Croque were hot & spicy!

Website: http://www.tartinebakery.com/

Tartine Bakery on Urbanspoon

Gary Danko


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.

Our order:

Amuse bouche
Asparagus soup

Starters
Risotto with Lobster, Shimeji Mushrooms and Butternut Squash
Crispy Farm Egg with White Polenta, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Frisée and Pancetta

Mains
Roast Maine Lobster with Potato Purée, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Corn and Tarragon
Horseradish Crusted Salmon Medallion with Dilled Cucumbers and Mustard Sauce

Dessert
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.

Rating:

Website: http://www.garydanko.com/

Gary Danko on Urbanspoon

Recchiuti Confections

rechchoc2
The folks over at Foodbuzz sent me a gift just in time for Valentine’s Day. A “green box” of gourmet chocolates from Recchiuti Confections. A delicate assortment of fresh herb and tea infused chocolates. My favorites were the Spring Jasmine Tea and the Tarragon Grapefruit. I’m usually a straight milk chocolate gal but these could make me a convert. If you want to give them a try stop by the San Francisco Ferry Building. They have a S’mores kit that looks pretty darn tasty.

rech-choc-box

Tasty Tip: There is a cool chocolaty behind the scenes video on their website.

In my next life I think I want to be a chocolatier.

Website: http://www.recchiuti.com/

Conduit Restaurant

Conduit [kon-dwit, -doo-it, -dyoo-it, -dit]
–noun : a pipe, tube or the like, for conveying water or fluid.


Photo credit: Eater SF

We ended up at Conduit not because we heard rave reviews but because of its location. Mike and I were going to be in the Mission for an event and this was only a few blocks away. We met some friends for dinner with no expectations. As the name states Conduit is filled with many horizontal and vertical copper and bronze pipes. Interesting concept and design. As I scanned the precise menu I noticed it only lists the ingredients for the dishes which requires you to converse with your server to get the full description. Luckily our server was witty and engaging and he did a wonderful job explaining each item. For a starter we order the hamachi special for the table to share. It was refreshing. We then all ordered the beet salad for appetizers which as we all know I love. This version was one of the best I have had. For my main I chose the halibut with artichokes and almonds. The fish was cooked perfectly with a nice seared crust and seasoned well. The almonds gave a wonderful crunch. I accompanied my meal with a kick a** Bründlmayer Riesling. I don’t usually make a fuss about wine but this was amazing. Mike had the game hen with pea ravioli and our friends had the halibut and pork. All the plating was beautiful and the flavors melded perfectly. When it was time to order dessert, to my delight, we were told that all desserts come with a homemade ice cream. We ended up with the chocolate pound cake with espresso chip ice cream and the chocolate creampuffs with, I believe, a tangerine ice cream. I could be wrong about that — regardless, the desserts were out of this world.

I found Conduit to be a very pleasurable experience. Even though we were there for 3 hours I never felt rushed by our waiter. They let you take your time and enjoy your evening. At just six months old this venture possesses fantastic food, staff and prices. I’m sure you will hear more buzz about them in the future. If I lived in the city I would become a regular at this little gem.

Note: My pictures came out horrible so do visit the Conduit website. They have tons of clear photos to peruse. Oh, don’t forget to check out the restroom…I’ll just say it’s different…

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Website: http://www.conduitrestaurant.com/

Conduit on Urbanspoon

Slanted Door

the slanted door

The Slanted Door is a modern Vietnamese restaurant located in the newly renovated Ferry building in San Francisco. It has a nice simple, clean design. If you can get a seat by the window (which we did) it has great views of the bay. Along the main wall to maximize space tables are situated tightly. Watch your bum cause you will likely bump the table next to you if you need to get up. The majority of the food was delicious including the Meyer Ranch shaking beef (filet mignon with garlic, watercress and red onions), Caramelized tiger prawns (garlic, onions and chili sauce) which had a nice kick, and for dessert a peach/apple tart. The only dish that didn’t meet expectations was the Slanted door spring rolls w/peanut sauce. This being a Vietnamese restaurant I was looking forward to trying their rolls. Bad choice, they were missing something….taste. On this rare occasion we chose to have beer with our meal instead of wine and we found an unexpected selection of German and Belgian beers. They were good but at a Asian restaurant — where is the TsingTao?! The service was another thing to be desired. I think our waiter was more worried about lookin good than servin good. The guy was nice and polite but we ended up getting our main course (after a very long wait) before our appetizer and never received the soup we ordered. Lucky for him we were not in a hurry and in a celebratory mood (Mike’s B day Weekend) so we didn’t let him ruin our evening. My suggestion to the waiter would be to write down an order instead of trying to memorize it. In theory that seems cool and sophisticated but when orders are incorrect or completely forgotten…I don’t mind the pen & paper. After all is said and done, I would go back to the Slanted Door FOR THE FOOD. Maybe take-out next time.

Tip: Adjacent from the restaurant they have a shop called “Out the door” where you can get some of The Slanted Door items to go.

Rating: drumstick ratingdrumstick ratingdrumstick rating
Website: http://www.slanteddoor.com/

Slanted Door on Urbanspoon

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