I was in San Francisco this past week and had several really amazing meals. The first was on the evening I arrived. I had wanted to eat early somewhere near my hotel, and had been yearning for some fresh seafood. I went to Farallon, which is a block away from Union Square, and had one of the best meals in recent history.
Farallon specializes in seafood, including a full list of oysters and caviar from all over. I was so impressed with the meal I had that I am still thinking about it days later. I arrived fairly early for dining in this part of town, and while the lounge in front was hopping, the main restaurant was nearly empty. That changed considerably over the course of my meal.
Restaurants that begin a meal with an amuse bouche seem to consistently care a lot about creating a dining experience. I was so delighted when my server brought over this morsel of deliciousness made from corn puree. Such a small bite yet so big in flavor.
For my appetizer I had a ceviche made from a Hawaiian fish called Hebi. It was topped with an avocado mousse and served with wonton crisps. I was so wrapped up in my excitement for this dish that I completely forgot to take a photo. For a main course, I had scallops with a potato puree and haricot verts. If it were socially acceptable for me to have done so, I would have licked the plate. It was that good.
Both of the seafood dishes paired very nicely with my beloved marsanne. In this case a glass of 09 J.L. Chave Selections, Céleste, Saint Joseph from the northern Rhone region.
I was pretty full at this point, but was having such a great time that I did not want to leave. So I ordered dessert. It was a good choice too as the buckwheat strawberry shortcake was tasty but not too sweet. And the presentation was so impressive.
The service was first class. I never needed to ask for anything as there was always someone nearby to fill my water glass or take away nearly licked-clean plates. The staff was professional and appropriate at the level that you typically see at the finest restaurants. It was a fantastic dining experience.