Haven't updated for a few days. Not that any one reads this anyway but... Just returned from 3 days in SF which happily coincided with their Dine About Town promotion. 3 course meals, lunch $22, dinner $33 at participating restaurants. Glad to see January is the doldrums for the Bay Area as well, not just the sticks.
Oddly enough we didn't end up going to too many of the places listed. However, lunch at One Market was wonderful. Not just saying this because I did my externship at Lark Creek Inn.On the way in I ran into co-owner Michael Dellar who had presented me with an award from the American Institute of Food & Wine way back in my student days. I've seen him at a few panel discussions throughout the years and he's always remembered me. Now that I'm on the road to feeling 100%, I'm going to write him a letter asking if I could stage there. All my experience has been in relatively small, scratch kitchens. I'd like to see how a bigger operation is organized.
Back to lunch, White Bean Soup with Crispy Fennel, Duck Risotto, and Pear Turnovers with Cinnamon Ice Cream. Our lovely manager had a Winter Salad (lots of veggies on the mandolin), Skate with Mustard Sauce and Mini Creme Brulees.
Dinner at Piperade was hit or miss. Sat at the bar, got an assortment of small plates, the best of which was Whole prawns with garlic, parsley and lemon. The Warm sheep's milk cheese and ham terrine was pretty damn good also. Warm piquillo peppers with goat cheese, California raisins and moscatel vinaigrette were not really my thing, but I'm not a big stuffed pepper fan. Our GM thoroughly enjoyed them. Bacalao fritters with pimenton aioli were decent as well but hey, they're fried. The taloa (a Basque whole wheat pizza) was a soggy mess.
The great thing for me was seeing Gerald Hirigoyen bussing tables, running food, greeting guests and opening the door for people to leave. This is stuff I routinely do and sometimes wonder how it looks to the diners.
The following day was the updated diner day. Luna Park for lunch and Chow for dinner. Monte Cristo for me and Cheelitz Flatwich with Tomato Soup for her. Was fine but given the Chow connection (chef/owner worked for a long time at Chow) and that we don't drink, I think we'll stick with Chow. Unless of course we're wandering around the Mission. Chow never disappoints although on Tuesday we went during peak dinner hour, which we've never done before. Food still good but the service missing their usual snap and sparkle.
Next day Hard Knox Cafe for Turkey Wings, collard greens, black-eyed peas and rice, as well as Fried chicken, collards and green beans. Place was deservedly packed for lunch. Good solid Southern food, not fussed with, (unlike the Blue Jay Cafe which we were excited about given Patricia Unterman's review). We ran into a former employee on the street in the afternoon and met at Taqueria La Corneta for dinner. Nothing special, but not bad either.
Getting ready to head into work to assess the damage. The whiny Republican sous chef, was whining on Tuesday evening that it was busy. Granted, he was working a new menu with an under trained guy but his attitude just stinks. Instead of being excited about the challenge, he's always looking for a way to make it a drag. This year, and early this year, he's going to have to change or move on.