|Toque of San Francisco April 2006
The Dining Detectives had a perfect start to the New Year with visits to some of the best restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We absolutely loved Vignette, which is located in Downtown San Francisco on Bush St. near Powell St. in The Orchard Hotel. This sophisticated restaurant has truly superior cuisine with both French and Italian influences. Executive Chef Jason Yeafoli and General Manager/ Proprietor Stephen Walker team up to bring San Francisco a wonderful destination for fine dining. The arched windows, lovely flowers and white linens make the interior décor elegant and inviting. We started our dining experience with the most exquisite soup, the Mushroom Cap. It was a whipped light flavorful mushroom soup served in a Cappuccino cup. The flavor and entire experience was incredible! Next we enjoyed the Filet of Beef Carpaccio starter, which came with crispy potato, marinated mushrooms, basil, mustard horseradish and crème fraiche. Both of our entrees were equally delicious.
Vignette Restaurant Executive Chef Jason Yeafoli and General Manager/Proprietor Stephen Walker
Day Boat Scallops
The Day Boat Scallops were prepared with potato puree, foraged mushrooms, crispy potatoes and surrounded by a fantastic balsamic foie gras sauce. Our other entrée was a melt in your mouth, fall off the bone Colorado Lamb Daube which was served with haricot verts, tomatoes, luscious pearl onions and fingerling potatoes in a Borolo wine sauce.
Granny Smith Apple Galette
The Dessert we loved was the Granny Smith Apple Galette with Toasted Almond Ice Cream and caramel sauce. Come for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner and you will be glad you experienced Vignette.
665 Bush St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94108
Executive Chef and Co-Owner Richard Reddington
Redd is taking the Napa Valley by storm with its fantastic contemporary Wine Country Cuisine. Recently opened by Executive Chef and Co-Owner Richard Reddington who was formally at Auberge du Soleil the restaurant is in the previous Piatti location.
The reviews have been great and the restaurant has been packed for good reason. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch. The Clam and Mussel Chowder with root vegetables and a garlic crostini was delicious It was much lighter and tastier than most. The Butternut Squash Ravioli with a ragout of winter vegetables and shaved Parmesan was outstanding. The desserts all looked terrific but our favorite was the Banana Cake which was mouthwatering. Lunch was great but we look forward to returning for dinner!
6480 Washington St.
Yountville, Ca. 94599
Bob’s Steak and Chop House is located in the Omni Hotel on California Street in San Francisco and just exudes elegance. Their Prime Steaks are tender and juicy and the Wine List is big on Big Reds.
Bob’s Prime Steak.
The décor is more elegant than your typical Steak House yet the atmosphere is very friendly. We were at Bob’s four years earlier to the date for the Grand Opening Party. The Executive Chef is Ken Drew who brings a wealth of experience to Bob’s with almost 20 years as a chef including many years at the Hotel Coronado in San Diego and the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles. We started out by ordering some wines by the glass. The Clos Du Val Napa Valley Cabernet was delicious. We also enjoyed the Conundrum which is an incredible fruity White Wine. A Warm Sourdough loaf was soon at our table along with a bottle of spring water. The Onion Rings are a great starter. Next we had the Blue Cheese Salad which consists of crisp romaine tossed with creamy blue cheese dressing and topped with aged blue cheese, chopped egg and roasted pecans. The Main Attractions, of course are the Steaks. Our favorite was the Prime Filet Mignon. This fabulous filet was perfectly prepared medium rare as ordered. It was served with a huge glazed carrot and Skillet fried potatoes topped with sautéed onions and peppercorn gravy. This is already too much but you must have some of their superior side dishes. We loved both the Creamed Corn and the Creamed Spinach topped with cheese.
Bob's Wedge of Carrot Cake
The Dessert that we loved was a huge Wedge of Carrot Cake with whipped cream, cheese frosting, and crusted with chopped walnuts. We had a great dining experience. Make sure you come hungry and don’t be shy about taking some of your meal home. Bob’s has a nice mix of locals and out of towners and is great for a Special Occasion or just a night out after work.
Bob’s Steak & Chop House
500 California St
San Francisco, Ca 94104
Down in the South Bay, Sino fits right in on San Jose’s Santana Row. Executive Chef Chris Yeo offers New Experience Chinese Cuisine in an upscale and high energy environment with a fabulous Bar. We enjoyed the Dungeness Crab & Westlake Seaweed Soup as a starter. It was filled with a generous portion of delicious crab meat. The Emperor’s Fried Rice was our next course and was lighter than any we’d previous tasted. It was a superior combination of Chinese Greens, Chicken, Shrimp, BBQ Pork, Peas and Carrots. As for the entrees we loved the Spicy Dragon Prawns served with cashews, bell pepper, scallions and chives.
Dessert Mango pudding
The other Entrée that we really enjoyed was the Mongolian New York Steak which was served with crimini mushrooms, Bermuda onions, mixed peppers in a sweet and spicy Mongolian sauce. Our favorite dessert was the Mango pudding. It was a perfect end to a great meal.
377 Santana Row Suite 1000
San Francisco, Ca 95128
We ventured into the Noe Valley neighborhood in San Francisco and found a great Italian Restaurant called Bacco.
As we listened to Italian opera in the background we chatted with Co-Owner Paolo Dominici who told us that he and his partner Executive Chef Vincenzo Cucco have been pleasing their customers since 1993 with both unique and classic Italian dishes.
Bacco. Owner Paolo Dominici
All the pastas, bread and desserts are made at Bacco fresh daily. Don’t be confused by the All Italian Wine List. We just told our waiter the types of wines we liked and he translated perfectly. The Primitivo Del Tarantino I Trullari 2003 was just like a California Zinfandel and the Vermentino Argiolas was light and fruity like the Sauvignon Blancs we enjoy. We started out with a delicious Gnocchi which was made with butternut squash and ricotta cheese in a butter majoran sauce. Next we had Rigatoni which was made with sausage, roasted peppers, peas and tomato cream sauce. This dish has been on the menu since Bacco opened and we see why. It was delicious. Our favorite entrée was the Pollo.
This was a fabulous stuffed chicken breast with porchini mushrooms, fontina, spek and wine sauce. Dessert was a tough choice but our favorite was the Sfogliatina Di Mele Con Gelato. This was a light and tasty Puff Pastry Apple Tart with Vanilla Gelato and Caramel sauce. An Espresso was the perfect finish to this fabulous Italian dinner.
737 Diamond Street
San Francisco, Ca 94114
We attended the San Francisco Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Convention Center once again this year and found everything from Chocolate, Coffee and Candy to Salmon, Caviar and Escargot.
Tom Douglas, Seattle Kitchen
This show is great for the Specialty Food Retailers who are looking for new products to sell and the average consumer who wants to see and taste the best that is available. The exhibitors gain from both segments and everyone appeared to be happy with the results of the show. Our fist stop was to the Shock Coffee booth. It is an ultra highly caffeinated coffee which helped us traverse the hundreds of booths in under two hours. We had to control ourselves because there is so much food and beverage to sample. We met Tom Douglas whose Seattle Kitchen Rub with Love Spice Rubs and BBQ sauce were outstanding. We loved the Escargot prepared by White Toque Inc’s Corporate Chef Didier Hevin as well as their excellent Petites Fours and Hors d’oeuvres.
White Toque Inc’s Corporate Chef Didier Hevin
If you crave Pate you won’t find better than Award Winner Trois Petits Cochons Pate. A new unique product was the Seasoned Skewers which bring the seasoning to the center of your kabobs.
Until we eat again .
TOQUES (MORE REVIEWS)