Posted on | August 26, 2010 | 1 Comment |
San Francisco is indeed a foodieâ€™s paradise. Supposedly you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner outside everyday for three years before you have to repeat a place!Â How cool is that! It is one of the four North American cities that Michelin Guide ever considered worthy enough to rate. In fact for 2010, it is just one of the two Michelin rated cities in US, the other one being New York. So you can imagine how great the foodie scene here is! As Michelin Guide is the haute cuisine bible, any pick from there is guaranteed to please. It is really hard to pick just a couple of restaurants from the Michelin list though, but making reservations at the last minute helped us narrow the selections down, since most places didnâ€™t have tables available for the weekend. Also, for our first night in town we wanted something closer to our hotel. Thatâ€™s how we picked Masaâ€™s, a French restaurant with 1 Michelin Star, just three blocks from our hotel in Union Square.
Masaâ€™s has a very casual atmosphere, even though the menu is anything but. The dress code says jackets are required for men, but they were totally fine with business casual. Initially service was extremely slow, it took them 15 minutes to get us the menus, but once the food started coming, the courses were executed with perfect timing. All the wait staff including the restaurant manager were extremely friendly and fun and made sure we had a great time there.
For the food, there are two options to choose from, a Four course degustation menu for $89 + $49 wine pairing and a Seven Course menu for $129 + $89 wine pairing. We both opted for the four course menu with wine pairing.Â I donâ€™t remember the details of all the wine pairings, but I remember getting really drunk by the end of it. Siv on the other hand had to order an additional glass of wine, as 4 glasses just didnâ€™t cut it for him. As far as food was concerned, 4 courses were perfect for us, I think 7 wouldâ€™ve been a bit much, even if the portions were smaller.
Our amuse bouchĂ© was a really good bite of smoked salmon with oranges, pickled ginger, caviar and black truffles.Â It sure was an explosion of flavors in the mouth and the tiny bite set us up well for the courses to follow.
For the first course Siv opted for the Foie gras , which is an additional $15, but foie gras is always worth the extra price.Â It was called the â€śPeach Melbaâ€ť – SautĂ©ed Artisan Foie Gras with white lady peach tartelette, pickled raspberries and vanilla essence.
For me, as soon as I saw â€śFriisee Aux Lardonsâ€ťÂ in the menu, I was sold. It was served with rabbit rillettes and quail Eggs and Iâ€™ve got to say it was even better than the foie gras, really!
Next was the seafood course. Siv picked the Herb Roasted Medallion of Wild Striped Bass with roasted marble potatoes, beech mushrooms and bordelaise sauce. The bass was cooked perfectly, the skin was nicely crisped and the flesh was so juicy.
I got the Grilled Filet of Columbia River Sturgeon served with roasted corn and green peppers and niĂ§oise sauce. A fine piece of fish and the dish had very fresh and subtle flavors. Loved it!
For our meat course, we both went for the same dish. We are both suckers for crispy pork belly, so that was just the natural choice for us. The dish had pan roasted Pork Ribeye, crispy pork belly, blackeyed peas, white corn polenta cake, glazed sweet shallots and pork jus. We both were quite full by this time, but still we managed to lick the plates clean, another winning dish.
Then came the dessert course. Strawberry Bread Pudding was Sivâ€™s choiceâ€¦
and the Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Tart with Ice Cream was mine. They were both fine, but didnâ€™t stand out as much as the savory courses.
At the end of the meal, they bring a cart full of petit fours around to the table, where we get to pick the ones we like. As you can imagine, we were beyond full at this point and couldnâ€™t even think of taking another bite. I jokingly said that we will get ours to-go and of course, a box full of petit fours appeared on our table along with the bill. We enjoyed the tiny treats the next day.
Overall, we had an amazing meal and a fun night. It is bit of a splurge with the final tally a little above $400 including tax and tips. But we were on vacation after all and the food was worth it. I highly recommend Masaâ€™s for a special night out.