Chez Papa Bistro.
Sunday June 6th, 2004
As it was my birthday, F took me to one of my favourite SF eating spots, Chez Papa for dinner. We started with Kirs and sat outside to enjoy the last moments of the sun setting across Protrero Hill where the restaurant is nestled on the summit of the busiest section of 18th Street.
We hadn't eaten all day and decided, therefore, we weren't going to skip appetizers as usual. They were out of the tuna tartare I would have ordered, and have stopped serving the foie gras I love so much so I settled instead for melted cambozola with roasted garlic and toast points whilst F opted for artichokes and cheese wrapped in prosciutto and then cooked. Cambozola is one of my favourite cheeses so the dish didn't have to fight too hard for my affection. The accompanying garlic was roasted to a soft, squidgy, delicate, perfection and I thanked my lucky stars that my boyfriend is French and would enjoy kissing me just as much once my breath had been perfumed by the scent of a stinking rose.
We both chose Fillet mignon on a potato and parsnip gratin with foie gras sauce as our main dish. It was one of the most delicious, heavenly steaks I have ever tasted in my entire life. The meat itself was perfect already, but the addition of the tasty rich sauce and the creamy potatoes elevated the eating experience to one at a level I rarely encounter. I found myself starting to eat slower and slower in the hope of prolonging the wonderful experience. I think my brain had decided if I kept dividing the remaining food on my plate in half, it would never run out.
By this stage we had really eaten more than enough, but as it was my birthday we couldnt resist a little dessert for a change. We shared a tarte tatin between us. Chez Papa's is a particularly memorable version of this classic sticky French apple tart. Somehow the waiting staff had got wind of the fact it was my birthday and the tarte was served with a candle adorning in it's middle. I've always seen that happen to other people, not to me, so secretly I was happy. Another of my lifelong ambitions can be crossed off of the list...
Merci beaucoup, F, pour le diner! Chez Papa Bistro.