Monday, September 20, 2010

Quince: San Francisco

Date:  16 septembre 2010
Location:  470 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94133
Tel:  + 1 415 775 8500

This is a beautiful and sophisticated restaurant.   Modern French and Italian food is the specialty here, with fresh home made pasta daily.  PERFECTLY Al Dente!  An evening at Quince is truly a dining experience. 

Quince has impeccable service.  Their staff is hospitable, warm, inviting, and of course - knowledgeable.  The  atmosphere is older professional, experienced, probably worldly and well traveled.  Beautiful jazz quietly emanates from the ceilings throughout the restaurant, and a large, subdued, dark blue oil painting provides a calming effect as you enter into the dining area from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco.  Warm amber lighting, dark hues of blue and black, and colors of toned down sky blue lighten up the beautiful bar area.  Quince might be new favorite bar in town...

I can't say that I perused the menu much that night.  Uncle Henry Chan (of the famed Yank Sing Dim Sum Restaurant) ordered the Chef's tasting menu for the four of us, including his special request of the Foie Gras Pasta (yes it is more than you could ever imagine it to be).  A combination of rich, yet light, yet savory, yet delicate flavors seeking their way through every salivary gland in your mouth.  One perfectly designed tasting dish came after the other, every single one a surprise and delight for both the eyes and palate!  Mostly I am a discerning patron and study the menu from top to bottom;  other times, when dining in good hands (as is the case when dining with Uncle Henry and his wife), I am so content to just sit and watch in awe as dinner is fluidly orchestrated by him and the restaurant staff (who always know him). 

I immediately noticed the fine stemware Quince uses.  I believe it is by Schott Zwiesel.  Longer than usual stems - extremely sophisticated.  I was afraid the stems would break when I performed my customary tilt of the wine glass to examine its character and color.  Not a chance.  :)

Four hours later, we were comfortably satiated and happily imbibed (white wines, red wines, fine vodka).  Being with close friends, engaged in conversation about world food and travels, while experiencing very finely done Italian pasta - makes for a calm and perfect evening.  I felt fortunate and blessed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Delarosa SF: San Francisco

Date:  12 septembre 2010
Address:  2175 Chestnut street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Tel:  (415) 673-7100

What a surprise!  My Top Chef friend Hosea Rosenberg was visiting this particular weekend, as a chef contestant in the yearly Kendall Jackson Tomato Heirloom Festival in Sonoma.  Driving back into the city on Sunday, hungry, we wanted to try a new place in a different neighborhood.  Rule of thumb - do what you normally would say no to, traverse a different route, experience something new!  As we drove through the Golden Gate Bridge toll, I suggested the Marina neighborhood.  Where to eat though in the Marina, that's not touristy??  We called our new SF friends Top Chef Ryan Scott and his beautiful girlfriend Ali, for suggestions.  Ali immediately sms'd Hosea back "Delarosa in the Marina, get the Margherita Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella!"  DONE!

Delarosa has an energetic and relaxed cool, clean vibe.  Bright, lively place to have lunch on a Sunday.  We sat at the communal table, which seems to be a welcome trend in SF these days.  The other dining tables sat a medley of typical San Francisco culture - young trendy parents out to lunch with their new toddlers, friends reconvening post Saturday night out, a few scattered tourists here and there... but one thing is clear - everyone dining here knows good food!  Feeling San Franciscan cool!  

On the menu:  Thin sliced fresh organic pizzas, seasonal salads, and a MUST TRY:  add their BUFFALO MOZZARELLA to your pizza!!!!  I added ONE sunny side up egg to one of my slices... love that dripping yellow egg on fresh thin sliced italian pizza!  Hosea forbid even one drop of my egg to touch any of his slices.  Fair enough!  Hosea also ordered the chicken sausage served with grapes and mustard seed sauce.  Pretty good! 

I also enjoyed their short wine list (I had Prosecco to start my Sunday afternoon) and cocktail menu.  Will have to return for another drink or two!  By the way, I liked Delarosa so much that I returned alone on Friday afternoon to grab a pie (pizza) and dined at the bar 230pm PST.