10/11/2006

San Francisco Restaurants

Celebrate the Foodies Favorite City, San Francisco

My favorite fancy restaurant in San Francisco is Farallon, where my pals Stacey and Susan took me a few years back for a birthday celebration.
From a San Francisco Chronicle review, Farallon, the newest big-ticket affair near Union Square, has just about everything a restaurant needs to be great. The interior, a $4 million extravaganza designed by Pat Kuleto, exudes a magical, feel-good air. The food by Mark Franz, who was the backbone of the Stars kitchen for a decade, is already some of the best in the city. Franz focuses on seafood, creating innovative and imaginative combinations. For example, he uses Napa cabbage leaves to bundle together prawn mousse with wild salmon fillets and striped bass. He steams the package, cuts it open to expose the mosaic pattern inside, and places it on a bed of tiny diced, gingered vegetables and an unctuous foie gras sauce.
Check out the comments for more San Francisco Restaurants Or Click to Add your own recommendation

7 comments:

irishlass said...

It's in Walnut Creek, not San Francisco, but Bing Crosby's Restaurant & Piano Bar is getting rave reviews.

from their web site

Bing Crosby's presents a blend of contemporary and vintage flavors and a first class experience that rekindles a glamourous, bygone era. Golf course casual by day, Hollywood-glam by nightfall, the setting captures all the glory of the 1930s, from the sumptuous decor to the innovative California Country Club Cuisine. The ambiance, a throwback to the laidback "swing era", evokes a warm rush of nostalgia with an authentic collection of Crosby family treasures such as his golf clubs, pipe collection and the Oscar he won in Going My Way. Since the restaurant's grand opening in November 2004, it has become a nationally acclaimed culinary gem and a recipient of the coveted Five Star Diamond award, presented by the American Academy of Hospitality Services.

Mel said...

In the mood for some Red Meat?

Boboquivari's | 1450 Lombard | San Francisco

The story of “The Steak”

What is the difference between a very good steak, a great steak and The Steak?

Aging is a natural process that improves the tenderness and flavor of beef. There are two types of aging: dry-aging and wet-aging.In the ‘70s, a less expensive aging process became popular that put the beef in vacuum-sealed Cryovac bags, allowing the meat to age in its own juices, hence the term “wet-aging.” This produces a tender steak, but does not enhance the flavor.

Some quality steakhouses serve top grade 100% USDA Prime, corn-fed aged beef. A few of the better steakhouses can dry-age their beef on premise for a maximum of twenty-one days, which may produce a very good steak. 99% serve wet-aged “Angus choice” or “choice”.

Historically, dry-aged beef was the gold standard. It is a respected, time-honored technique of preparing high-quality beef. A great steak must be dry-aged four to six weeks in a large, specialized facility that provides a sanitized and closely monitored environment; the temperature must be maintained at 33-34 degrees (F), the humidity must be precisely 82% and there must also be a constant air flow of fifteen feet per second around the open meat at all times, all of which takes place under the watchful eye of a highly-skilled butcher. The texture and taste of the meat becomes richer and more buttery.

The result is the best steak you've ever tasted!

Bobo’s is a boutique restaurant that caters to the discriminating steak eater and does not age its beef on premises but has partnered with one of the few purveyors who has a Total Quality Control (TQC) USDA-rated facility (only 8% qualify for this designation in the country) that can age beef for four to six weeks and fulfill our rigid specifications.

Pan searing the meat in its own natural juices with a hint of garlic and rosemary then de glazing it is what makes our steak… the steak, The best steak west of Brooklyn’s famed 19th century landmark restaurant, Peter Luger’s.



What is a Bobo's Style Porterhouse?

To provide the consummate steak, we offer a Porterhouse that is a little different from the norm. The size of the filet on a typical Porterhouse varies and can be quite small. The differing thickness in the meat on either side of the bone often means that one side is over done. We separate the Porterhouse into its components, a New York and a Filet Mignon, and cook them separately so that each steak is perfect. The steaks arrive at your table on one plate, Bobo's style: tender and delicious.

Mel said...

Fancy -
The Ritz Carlton Dining Room - Ron Siegal is the chef and he was the only American to beat the Iron Chef in the original Japanese show. This is mine and Brian's personal favorite.



Here's an evening's menu

First Course
BUTTER BEAN SOUP
croutons, pickled mushrooms, thyme leaves

GREEN SALAD
shaved asparagus, assorted baby greens, cantal, sherry vinaigrette

HOT FOIE GRAS
spicy pickled huckleberries, crouton, apple juice infused with black pepper

CHILLED FOIE GRAS
fuzzy green almonds, goji berries, mache, Mexican vanilla salt, rhubarb jam

DUNGENESS CRAB SALAD
winter citrus salad, avocado, orange vinaigrette, micro greens, shiso oil

SLOW COOKED PORK BELLY
daikon, ramps, pickled ramps, sweet and sour sauce, pink lady apples

SASHIMI OF LIVE SPOT PRAWNS
wasabi, japanese sea salts, lemon juice, sautéed heads, yuzu gelée

VEAL CHEEKS
hearts of palm, pencil asparagus, ruby port sauce, chrysanthemum salad

CRISPY CHICKEN
braised artichokes, beech mushrooms, red onions, foie gras and white port emulsion

OXTAIL RAVIOLI
black trumpet mushrooms, kale hearts, turnips, oxtail braising liquid

QUAIL
chanterelle mushrooms, rhubarb, swiss chard, natural reduction

CHILLED SALSIFY VELOUTE
miyagi oysters, golden osetra caviar, leeks, crème fraiche

KING SALMON TARTARE
avocado, wasabi crème fraiche, lime glass, toasted brioche

ZUCKERMAN FARMS ASPARAGUS
golden osetra caviar, big fin squid, lobster infused béarnaise reduction

GRILLED HIRAME
english cucumbers, radishes, dashi gelée, crispy yuba

CRAB RAVIOLI
baby carrots, spinach, asparagus, coconut citrus sauce

CRISPY SPOT PRAWN
honeycomb, habañero oil, baby fennel, shellfish keifer lime essence

Second Course
POTATO CRUSTED MAINE HALIBUT
jumbo asparagus, ramps, morel mushrooms, bacon balsamic vinaigrette

JOHN DORY
baby leeks, artichokes, squid ink linguini, saffron white wine reduction

SLOW BAKED KING SALMON
scallions, meyer lemon infused abalone, lobster noodles, sake broth

SEA BREAM EN PAPILLOTE
big fin squid, english peas, black rice, lemongrass essence

DIVER SCALLOPS
fennel, caramelized salsify, chanterelle relish, natural reduction

MILK FED POUSSIN
confit leg, black trumpet mushrooms, asparagus, pappardelle, grana padano

DUCK BREAST
spring onions, asparagus, bamboo rice with licorice root, satsuma mandarins

NIMAN RANCH LAMB
fava beans, morel mushrooms, red onion marmalade, potato gnocchi, thyme infused lamb reduction

FILET MIGNON
baby artichokes, swiss chard, green garlic, italian butter beans, bordelaise

48-HOUR BONELESS SHORTRIBS
garbanzo beans, pencil asparagus, caramelized onions, hearts of palm, shallot jus

$68 per person inclusive of dessert


Salt and Pepper Tasting Menu

KAUAÍ SEA SALT & PINK PEPPERCORNS
dungeness crab claw, spot prawn sashimi, watermelon radish, rice vinegar

TAHITIAN VANILLA SEA SALT & MUNTOCK WHITE PEPPER
seared toro, beech mushrooms, mirin reduction

FLEUR DE SEL & LONG PEPPER
foie gras medallion, huckleberries, apple reduction, tonka bean essence

SEA SALT SMOKED OVER WELSH OAK & ESPELETTE PEPPER
hand harvested diver sea scallop, pork belly, alfalfa honey glaze

MALDON SEA SALT & PONDICHERRY PEPPERCORNS
sonoma duck breast, satsuma mandarins, napa cabbage

BOLIVIAN ROCK SALT & SCHEZUAN PEPPERCORNS
dry aged beef rib eye, abalone mushrooms, potato gnocchi

CINNAMON SEA SALT & GREEN PEPPERCORNS
huckleberry sorbet, maple foam

CITRUS FLEUR DE SEL & TASMANIAN PEPPER
warm red wine soup, coconut sorbet, tapioca pearls, lime chiboust

$100 per person

Six Course Tasting Menu

SASHIMI OF HAWAIIAN TUNA
geoduck, orange shiso gelée, easter egg radish, smoked sea salt

MAINE LOBSTER
swiss chard, hearts of palm, carrot lobster broth

POUSSIN CONFIT RAVIOLI
foie gras, abalone mushrooms, ramps, chicken sauce

LAMB CHOP
green asparagus, spring garlic, potato gnocchi, lamb reduction

MANDARIN-THYME SORBET
shiso gelée

NOUGAT GLACÉ
chocolate mousse, kumquat confit, port cherries

$89 per person

Vegetarian Six Course Tasting Menu

ARTICHOKE SOUP
crispy tofu, arbequina olive oil

BABY BEET SALAD
endive, fuji apples, goat cheese, red beet vinaigrette

SALSIFY RAVIOLI
hearts of palm, melted leeks, sweet carrot broth

POTATO GNOCCHI
white asparagus, pencil asparagus, black chanterelle mushrooms, parmesan crisp

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SORBET
citrus segments

CARDAMOM PANNA COTTA
pineapple soup, carrot ice cream

$89 per person

Chef's Nine Course Tasting Menu
available upon request — $115 per person


Chef Ron Siegel
Pastry Chef Alexander Espiritu
Sommelier Stephane Lacroix

irishlass said...

You can't go wrong at the Foreign Cinema - the food is great and the movies fabulous ...


Here's a review

San Francisco Magazine
The 50 Very Best Restaurants: Where We Really Love to Eat Now
August 2005
Foreign Cinema
"Why: This is where Chez Panisse holds its annual holiday party. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.
What: A chaning list of seasonally inspired fare and one of the best brunch menus around.
When: You want to eat in Berkeley but don't feel like getting on the bridge.
Where: Outside on the patio on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Inside by the fireplace for a romantic dinner.
Who: Weekends, it's packed with a crowd that loves a good scene as much as it loves good food. Weeknights, you'll find restaurant industry insiders on thier night off.
Wow: A kid's menu.....makes this one of the few family-friendly restaurants where parents are thrilled to dine."


Here's the spring/summer schedule of movies -- don't you want to see them all?

Mar 27 - Apr 23
The Motorcycle Diaries
Based on the life of celebrated revolutionary Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries is a rich road movie and vibrant window into the spirit of South America. By using a number of amateur actors and a nearly documentary-style format, director Walter Salles Jr. makes Guevara's interactions with peasants as realistic as possible. Gael García Bernal is an ideal choice to play Guevara, ranging effortlessly from delight to gravitas according to the vicissitudes of the character's experience. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards.

Directed by Walter Salles Jr
South America, 2003, 128 minutes, Rated R
Movie starts at Dusk


Apr 24 – May 28
La Dolce Vita
Foreign Cinema’s first movie shown at our opening in August, 1999, La Dolce Vita is a visually flamboyant, Dante-esque odyssey through contemporary Roman decadence juxtaposing ancient Rome with modernity and surface beauty with spiritual desolation. Winner of the 1960 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, La Dolce Vita became a worldwide critical and financial success, turning Fellini first-timer Marcello Mastroianni into an international star and earning Fellini an Oscar nomination as Best Director.

Directed by Federico Fellini
1961, Italy
174 minutes, Not Rated



May 29 – June 25
The Thomas Crown Affair
Norman Jewison's stylish romantic caper, featuring Steve McQueen in a rare cerebral role, is an enjoyably compendium of '60s film technique. More romance than heist, the film capitalizes on the powerful chemistry between McQueen and Faye Dunaway, who were never photographed as stunningly as they are here by the legendary Haskell Wexler. In a celebrated six-minute set piece, a wordless chess game between the two develops into an increasingly intense pas de deux of visual foreplay; near its climax, a rapt McQueen gazes on while Dunaway contemplatively fondles the head of a bishop.

Directed by Norman Jewison
USA, 1968
102 minutes, Not Rated


June 26 – Jul 30
Shall We Dance
Phenomenally successful both at home and abroad, Shall We Dance boasts expert direction and an engaging, often hilarious script. In a role that established him as one of Japan's most popular leading men, Koji Yakusho is flawless, portraying Shohei with a subtle mix of self-consciousness and squashed dignity. Shohei is torn between the wife he loves and the fluid perfection of dance represented by the icy beauty of Mai. Suo's deft touch fashions a narrative that could have been manipulative and maudlin into an elegant work that fuses humor with wistful melancholy.

Directed by Masayuki Suo
Japan, 1995
135 minutes, Rated PG


July 31 – August 27
The Year of Living Dangerously
Director Peter Weir portrays the Indonesia of 1965 as a place where Western blandishments ring especially hollow against the poverty, misery, and oddly spiritual life. Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver both solidify their place as international stars. Weir uses an unearthly Vangelis score and bright, contrasting colors in the glittery, sterile palaces of the Sukarno regime to contrast with the dirt and darkness of Indonesia's poverty. And in Linda Hunt's Academy Award-winning performance as photographer Billy Kwan, Weir has a great voice for the despair the poverty engenders.

Directed by Peter Weir
Australia, 1982
114 minutes, Rated PG



And Here's the Menu

Features
Northern halibut, white corn, summer squash, chanterelles, roasted figs & fig vinaigrette 22
Seared sea scallops, heirloom tomatoes, haricot vert, bacon, aioli, basil sauce, breadcrumbs 23
Fried Madras curry spiced chicken, gypsy peppers & crazy carrots, gremolata 18
Trofie Pasta: broccoli rabe, lemon zest, chili, garlic, ricotta salata 16
MIXED GRILL: Moroccan duck breast, quail & chicken sausage, roasted grapes, canellinni, liver toast 23
Pork tenderloin, shell bean, lobster mushrooms & arugola salad, tart cherries, olive sauce 22
Grilled natural rib-eye steak*, grilled potatoes, romano & yellow wax beans, Argentine salsa 30

Anonymous said...

Chez Panisse opened its doors in 1971, started by Alice Waters and an assortment of idealistic friends. A neighborhood bistro named after a character in Marcel Pagnol's 1930's trilogy of movies (‘Marius,’ ‘Fanny,’ and ‘Cesar’), the Restaurant and Café are a homage to the sentiment, comedy and informality of these classic films.

From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they would like them done at a dinner party at home. The restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. The dinner, served in two seatings from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., has always consisted of only one fixed-price menu, of three to four courses. The menu changes every night, designed to be appropriate to the season and composed to show off the finest ingredients obtainable including meat, fish, and poultry.

Prices for the Restaurant are $50 Mondays, $65 Tuesdays through Thursdays and $85 Fridays and Saturdays, not including beverage, a 17% service charge and 8.75% tax. Monday night menus are generally simpler and more rustic or regional than what the restaurant serves on other evenings. Friday and Saturday night menus are somewhat more elaborate.

The Café at Chez Panisse, located upstairs, opened in 1980 to offer an alternative to the set menu served in the Restaurant downstairs. The Café offers a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. The Café hours are Monday through Thursday 11:30am to 3pm and 5pm to 10:30pm, and Friday and Saturday 11:30am to 3:30pm and 5pm to 11:30pm. It has an open kitchen along one side of the room with a charcoal grill and a wood burning oven. The style of the menu is inspired by the market; consequently, the menus change every day. Reservations are recommended.

Alice and Chez Panisse have become convinced that the best-tasting food is organically grown and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound, by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. The quest for such ingredients has largely determined the restaurant's cuisine. Chez Panisse has tried for years to make diners here partake of the immediacy and excitement of vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight out of the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has stitched together a patchwork of over sixty nearby suppliers, whose concerns, like the restaurant's, are environmental harmony and optimal flavor.

David Ourisman said...

You should also check out some great restaurants across the bay in Berkeley... great food at more reasonable places. My three favorites: Lalimes, Rivoli, and Chez Panisse.

Chez Panisse is, of course, an iconic Berkeley institution. Still has good food, but I think their reputation has gone a bit to their heads. You need reservations downstairs for the nightly prix fixe meal, but you can eat in the cafe upstairs, choosing from a menu.

Rivoli has incredible food, and you ought to make a reservation at least a week in advance to eat at a time you'd like to eat. On Solano Avenue.

Lalime's is the least-known great restaurant in Berkeley... and therefore my favorite. You can usually just drop in. It looks unassuming on the outside, but the food is great.

geoduck said...

I love eating gooey ducks. My mother loves to make it with rice, tastes great! Though I do think you have to get used to the texture.

Geoducks are prized foods in food markets worldwide and are a highly valued fishery for the state (Puget Sound) , estimated at $40 million annually.

Check out geoduck for info.