Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Ate Balls!! (not)

(And they weren't too 'Offal')

photograph picture of eggs florentine from Liberty Cafe filed under restaurant Review san franciscoFor our Bay Area readers we have a Capsule San Francisco Restaurant Roundup for November 2005, featuring:
Pizzeria Delfina | Tres Agaves | Garcon | Oola | Les Amis | Couleur | Q (illustrated by the picture of one of their table sculptures on the left) | The Flower Market Cafe...

I finally got to try
Pizzeria Delfina the other weekday afternoon when it wasn't packed. I am not going to write a full-on review but suffice to say, Fred and I shared a Margherita and absolutely loved it. Fred was raving about the crust, whilst I had a bit of a crush on the mouth-watering tomato sauce. A side of roasted cauliflower proved to me that this previously most wretched of vegetables can be made quite tasty, though I would have preferred less salt. For more info, visit the Pizzeria Delfina Website.
Pizzeria Delfina blogged: Vinography | Food Musings | The Restaurant Whore | Bay Area Bites | Scowl Nu?
Some very good friends of mine are venturing into the restaurant business. They are part of the team that have launched Soma's new Mexican & Tequila restaurant, Tres Agaves. I was sceptical, cynical and quite sure I wouldn't care for the frat-boy atmosphere that comes from being such a large eaterie so close to the Ball Park. I was part of a group of 8 friends (all paying our way) who shared several of their dishes, family-style, for dinner. I had to eat my negative words. Succulent, slow roasted pork carnitas, tender spit roasted chicken, tasty fresh fish, juicy wood-grilled skirt steak, salsas, guacamole, chips and melt-in-your-mouth corn on the cob. There wasn't anything that disappointed me, although please note that our hosts did recommended the pick of what they believe to be the best choices on the menu. All the food was delicious and having such a large selection of tequilas to wash it all down with didn't hurt either. For more info, visit the Tres Agaves Website.
Tres Agaves blogged:
Bbum's Weblog-o-Mat | Scowl Nu? | Aldoblog

There seems to be no stopping our other restaurant-owning friends who are fast building a little French empire, here in San Francisco. Barely 24 hours since flying in from Paris the week before last, and to celebrate the Beaujoulais Nouveau, we tried their new mission Bistro, Garcon. It's a really nicely designed spot, buzzing and homely with a welcoming French atmosphere. The food is traditional and hearty with items like roasted Mussels and frisee salad with a soft poached egg, on the appetizer menu. All four of us tried Duck Confit as our main course. It was good, but not quite peaking at the level of Oola's version which, a few weeks ago, raised the bar to best duck confit I have ever tasted. Don't leave Garcon without trying the Tarte Tatin. It's well worth the calorie splurge. More info about Garcon can be found here.

The same restaurant friends have just launched Les Amis, a high-end, down town eaterie headed by Plouf chef Thomas Weibull. We were lucky to be invited to a complimentary test tasting of part of their dinner menu last week. The food shows much promise and it looks like Weibull is relishing the creative opportunity he has been afforded by heading a more upscale restaurant than the mussel-lovers favourite on Belden Lane. Delectable amuse geules, crispy sweetbreads (which I thought were balls when I wrote this article, but actually they are not) and succulent rabbit wrapped in prosciutto plus accompanying rillette carbonara crowned with a little raw quail egg are the type of dishes you might expect to find on the menu. I thought the most delicious item, by far, was a delicate, crispy bass with duck crackling, jeruslaem artichoke and a mild ginger-orange beurre blanc which has since been haunting me with an insatiable yearning for more. The pastry chef has been allowed to go to town too, desserts were quite ambitious and we were sweetly surprised. In the interests of transparency, please be aware we did not pay for any food or wine on this occasion, neither were we asked to write about the experience. More details can be found on Opentable.

Talking of Plouf, my very favourite restaurant manager in town, Thierry, has left Belden Lane to head up Jocelyn Bulow's latest venture, Couleur at the bottom of Potrero Hill, at 17th and De Haro. And guess what - that's in my neighbourhood, so I can't wait. Well I won't have to hold out much longer - the last I heard, they open this coming Friday, December 2nd, next Monday December 5th. But call and double-check first. They left the following number, for enquiries, on their door: 415 255 0387.

Not Quince, not Quiznos, just a simple letter Q. Read all about this quirky, friendly Amercian Comfort-food Diner in the Inner Richmond right here, in my latest review for SFist.

Finally, if like me, you have wondered every time you have been at the lights at Townsend and 6th, waiting to leg it onto the 280 Freeway, what The Flower Market Cafe is all about, I can assure you it's not worth the parking fee. The food is mediocre, the setting isn't pretty and although the staff are really sweet and friendly, there is nothing about this 'mainstay' that will appeal to people who are the slightest bit interested in good food.

Happy Dining!

| | | |
I Ate Balls!! (not)


  • At 29/11/05 09:22, Blogger Lady Amalthea said…

    What perfectly succinct reviews! Now I'm starving and wishing I were up in the Bay Area to try them out.

    Aren't sweetbreads brains, though, not balls?

  • At 29/11/05 09:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    tres agaves is legit. great margheritas. i like the interior space too.


  • At 29/11/05 09:43, Blogger Sam said…

    Lady A - well everyone told me they were balls, and I have always believed that, but I just did a websearch and it seems it can be one of two glands in the pancreas or the thymus which certainly aren't balls, rains neither.
    So I don't know where on earth I got that idea from, but I will leave the title up cos it is attention grabbing!

    gibby - I would expect a 'lad' like you to like it. looking forward to another Teaching Tim soon, eh?

  • At 29/11/05 11:04, Blogger cedichou said…

    oh boy, have you been busy. All these new places. I haven't even heard of les amis or couleur! You're better than grace-ann walden.

    I stopped by and took some notes from the menu at garcon, and I have put it on my list. I was in no rush to go, though, cause it looked totally predictable. Now you got me interested.

  • At 29/11/05 11:24, Blogger Sam said…

    Ced - Garcon is predictable - especially if you are French, or have just returned from Paris, but it was fun, lively and decent food when we went. Don't expect to be wowed, but do count on being quite satisfied. It's a nice, friendly, bzzing neighbourhood kind of joint. Probably even better for pople who don't OD on French food like we do.

  • At 29/11/05 15:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CookieCrumb has been urging me to visit your blog and I'm glad I did, it's a beautiful blog, Sam.
    CookieCrumb's Mom (We have computers in Escondido,too.)

  • At 29/11/05 16:21, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Check it out! My momz.
    For her next feat of computorial derring-do, she's going to learn how to get an identity other than "Anonymous."
    (I swear I didn't put her up to this!!) :D

  • At 29/11/05 16:30, Blogger Kalyn said…

    Sam, the soup you had in Belgium sounds wonderful. Of course I am very partial to cream, I have to confess. I'd love to see the recipe if you come up with it.

    By the way, I just noticed your filmography link. I had no idea you were so multi-talented!! Can you imagine how impressed my fourth grade students would be to hear that I am getting comments on my blog from someone who worked on all those movies? (They have their own class blog and they don't understand why they only get comments from each other. Also they want me to put statcounter on so they can see where the visitors come from. Of course their blog is private so they won't get random visitors, but they don't quite get that.)

  • At 29/11/05 17:48, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    [snark] Everybody is better than GraceAnn Walden! [/snark]

  • At 29/11/05 19:30, Anonymous Julie said…

    Hi Sam -- your wonderful capsule reviews of these restaurants make me long to be back in the Bay Area. Since it's in your neighborhood, you may want to drop by the store Dandelion, at 55 Potrero Avenue. The proprietors are family friends of ours, and they serve hot mulled wine at holiday season, made according to my mom's recipe...

  • At 30/11/05 08:31, Blogger Sam said…

    Cookie Crumbs Mum - I am so honoured to have you visit my blog. I hope you liked it enough to come back again one day. In the meantime I will try and keep an eye on your daughter and make sure she isn't up to no good. Not an easy task, I imagine. If you want to leave any tips...?

    CC - what loverly mums we all have!
    I think they should start a group food moms/mums blog.

    Kalyn - i will have to look the recipe up on the net. Of course - cream - makes everything yummy, huh? I am blushng about what you said, but please note it is really quite an ordinary job I have. It'snotlike I am on set mingling with actors or anything.

    CC - well just diss Ced's praise of me, then, by making it look like anyone could do it, huh? ;)

    Julie - I havent heard of Dandelion so I will have to check it out.

  • At 30/11/05 11:51, Anonymous CookieCrumb's Mom said…

    Thought I'd try again and see if I can come up with an identity other than anonymous;I'm feeling pretty brave, having done it once.Your blog,Sam, reminded me of fun times in San Francisco when CookieCrumb was just CookieDough.

  • At 30/11/05 12:20, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Har har!!! She means when I was still a gleam in the Pillsbury Doughboy's eye! (Mom and Dad lived in the Bay Area way back when.)
    Mom, you did it! You have an identity.


Post a Comment

<< Home