570 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, SF 415.543.0573 |website
I consider myself lucky that I was able to squish in one more Pellegrino Dine Out 2007 dinner last week. JT organized this dinner with an eye on the hanger steak and chocolate gourmand. The $35 prix-fixe is a nice way to sample dishes at the participating restaurants in the city and a small donation is made to a good charity (to end hunger for children in America).
The restaurant is a small space with high ceilings and warm butter colored walls decorated with interesting pieces of modern art. It’s very cozy but not claustrophobic and I could actually hear pretty well across the table! We started off with bread in a basket served with room-temperature spreadable butter while we decided what to order.
I had the Sauteed Prawns in Pastis with Sundried Tomatoes which was was topped with chopped fresh herbs that wafted up with a wonderful fragrance. The rich sauce was deliciously complex and was perfect to dunk the buttered bread into.
I got to sit next to DDR and KC who are always willing to let me taste their dishes and will patiently wait while I take pictures of their food. DDR had the Chicken confit and Shiitake Mushroom Ravioli with truffle oil and red wine sauce. The truffle oil added a gorgeous depth and aroma to the rich sauce.
It was filled with tender shreds of luscious chicken and tender sliced mushroom swimming in a delectable sauce
KC got a large chunk of an iceberg lettuce that came with handfuls of chewy bacon bits strewn over the plate. An intricate design of Apple-smoked bacon vinaigrette was drizzled on the bottom of the plate and the salad was topped with thin slices of Petite Basque Cheese. Still, it seemed like a big pile of iceberg lettuce to me…
Quite a few people had the Black Angus Hanger Steak with baby lettuce, pomme frites, with rosemary sauce
Here is KC cutting into hers. We marveled over how tender and juicy the meat on the inside was especially because the outside was seared and crispy. The french fries were also ethereally light and crispy.
I had to try the Barramundi Fillet with Almond Crust, which I read has origins in Australia but the most interesting thing is that it starts out as a male and after it reaches maturity, it changes into a female at about age 5. It is prized for its sweet flavor and delicate texture. Here it was served with sauted corn, oyster mushrooms and spinach nestled in a shallow moat of lobster reduction that was a tantalizingly complex combination of flavor and textures.
Hazelnut and Roasted Almond Mousse Cake in a lake of warm bittersweet chocolate.
Warm Chocolate Gourmand, which was like a rich warm brownie topped with ice cream and drizzled with raspberry coulis.
I felt like something simple and had the gorgeous Creme Brulee, which had a thick crystalline layer of caramelized sugar that was crunchy and addicting. The custard was rich and buttery with a faint taste of orange.
We savored each dish, everything was delicious, but I have to say that by the time the desserts came out (which were full sized by the way – more in line with what is generally shared by several people), we were really too stuffed to finish everything. In the back of my mind, I hope that the leftovers (because who can really eat all of that food) would also end up feeding hungry children. I’m thinking what’s in that pastis anyways?