Building A, Fort Mason, San Francisco | website
My good friend TK has been wanting to try the fine vegetarian cuisine at Greens for a while, so we finally set a date and arrived promptly at 5:30 when they open. The dining room is in a group of converted warehouses in Fort Mason with gorgeous views of the marina and golden gate bridge in the far distance. It is a nice walk from one of the offices that I work at, so I schlepped over Fort Mason hill and enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way.
If you read any of my previous posts, you know that I am omnivorous. I love almost everything… The thing that scares people about vegetarian cooking is the fear that they will be served rabbit food. They picture lop-eared rabbits contentedly muching plates of lettuce, hay, twigs and berries. This is no bland rabbit food. The chefs at Greens are pioneers, having placed vegetarian cuisine on the same level with other fine dining restaurants. What I love about Greens is that they use local seasonal organic produce to make full-flavored and soul satisfying food. I have never left there feeling even slightly hungry. When I worked at the aquatic park office, I would trudge over the hill at lunchtime to the Greens-to-go counter solely for the fabulous vanilla cupcake topped with white buttercream frosting and coated with curls of coconut.
We enjoyed some fresh roasted almonds that had been tossed in oil and salt while we looked over the menu. Everything sounded so delicious it was really hard to limit ourselves to just a few dishes.
We negotiated and decided to split the Heirloom Tomato Salad with creamy fresh mozzarella bufala, delicate lettuce leaves and drizzled with a light herbal dressing that went perfectly with the sweet juicy slices of tomato.
One of the best things about dining with TK, after many epic feasts over the years, she is very willing to split things and share dishes. We both were intrigued by the Corn Tart filled with sweet corn, roasted onions, leeks, herbs, cheese and chipotle cream, but we couldn’t both order the same thing – that would limit our dining experience to only one entree…
The crust was wheat based and more like a calzone than pastry which went very well with the rich corn filling which had a consistency somewhere between a fritatta and a quiche. It was very tasty and quite filling.
I had the Wild Mushroom Linguine with sweet cherry tomatos and white corn that was tossed in a garlic butter sauce and topped with fresh herbs.
It was lightly dusted with a highly aromatic grano panado cheese that added depth and complexity to the dish. The delicate hand-made pasta was luscious in the garlicky sauce and I relished the fresh bursts of flavor when I bit into the vegetables and meaty fresh wild mushrooms.
With a start we realized that we had to leave in order for TK to make it home in time to meet Sam. After the three dishes we were very full and decided to just get cupcakes or cookies to go, but were thwarted by time and non-attendance at the to-go counter.
So now I’m filled with longing for the vanilla cupcake with coconut curls. I think you know what that means…