Saturday, September 20, 2008

Amazing Food and Service at Coi, San Francisco, CA

For our anniversary, we chose to go to Coi, one of our favorite newish places in the city. We had originally made the reservation for our actual anniversary, but Coi called to move the reservation because they had a private party booked for that night. We agreed to move the reservation and when they found out it was our anniversary, they thanked us for being willing to move it and told us they would "take very good care of us". And, take very good care of us they did. When we arrived, they offered us a bottle of champagne, on the house. And since I'm pregnant, I was offered a variety of interesting, non-alcoholic drinks. Then, throughout the meal, we received many free courses. The meal was delicious and we felt very well taken care of. We love this place. The dining room is modern, yet feels like a warm cocoon and the service was immaculate. I think the tasting menu is about $125 per person, and well worth it.

Milk and Honey
This first taste is a molecular gastronomical concoction that pops in your mouth when you eat it, exploding liquid all over your tongue. It did taste very much of warm milk and honey, a flavor combo that made me retreat into childhood.

Grapefruit and Tarragon Foam
This was a simple and very tasty little dish.

Chilled Squash Soup
This soup was so smooth and incredibly flavorful. I usually am not a fan of chilled soups, but this one was delicious. It was subtley flavored with curry-like spices.

Chilled Tomatoes with Cheese Stuffed Puff Pastry
This was a play on tomato soup with grilled cheese, a classic combo. It was tasty, but not special.

Decomposed Gazpacho
This was a very strange dish. The falvors were delicious, but the textures were odd. The black cylinder was gelatin stuffed with was tasted like rice flavored with squid ink.

Bone Marrow
This flavor of this dish was rivaled only by it's beauty. The bone marrow was so utterly smooth and paired so well with the grapes.

Carrot and Artichoke Salad with Carrot Puree
This was simple and full-flavored. I almost forgot it was an entirely vegetarian dish.

Tofu Skin-Spinach Ravioli with Turnip
The chef really likes to use the tofu skins like a pasta, which is innovative and delicious. I was also excited to see pink turnips, which I had never seen before.

Corn Pudding with Chantarelles
This was one of the complimentary courses we received. While neither of us had ordered it, it was better than we thought it would be. Very corny, in a good way.

Fish and Oyster with Apple, Potato and Radish
The fish was well cooked, if a little on the rare side. The apple were and inspired and delicious accompaniment.

Bison with Onion Relish
The bison was rich tasting, despite it's lack of fat content.

Slow Cooked Egg with Farro, Chard and Brown Butter
This was totally delicious. A slow cooked egg is essentially an egg cooked sous-vide, but without the bag. From our own sous-vide experiences, I'd bet the egg was cooked at 150 for about 45 minutes.

Fresh Goat Cheese with Figs
This dish was simple and satisfying. The goat cheese was smooth and firm, but not hard, and less tangy than you would expect.

Melon Soup with White Chocolate Powder (above and below)
This dessert was too cloyingly sweet for us, but it was very pretty.

Chocolate Ganache, Violet Ice Cream, Cocoa Nibs and Macerated Strawberries
This dessert, on the other hand, was oh-so-decadent. The violet ice cream was innovative and was a nice match for the tartness of the strawberries and the bitterness of the chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles
Whoever's idea it was to toll truffles in crumbled chocolate chip cookies was brilliant. I can't say any more.

Vanilla and Olive Oil Milkshake
This was not bad, but unnecessary. We would have been more than happy to end the meal on the truffles.

Food: 3
Decor: 3
Service: 2

373 Broadway Street
San Francisco, CA 94133

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Korean Food and Hash Browns at Irving St. Cafe, San Francisco, CA

We were in the area at Arizmendi Bakery, so we hopped around the corner for the best hash browns around.

BBQ Beef Lunch Special $6
Served with house cured kim chee and rice, this meat was tasty, especially with the subtly sweet Korean chili paste. This was a very hearty, simple dish.

Hash Browns $2
These are the best hash browns ever because they are essentially all crisp. They are so thin that only the good, crispy part exists. Yum.

Beef Bulgogi $5
This classic Korean dish of rice, veggies, and beef with a fried egg is oddly comforting, despite the fact that we didn't eat it as children.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 1

Irving Street Cafe
716 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122

No Website
Health Code Violations

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Steak with Roasted Cauliflower

A quick and simple weeknight meal. Also, our baby isn't born yet, but I can imagine that serving purple and yellow cauliflower might be a great way to get kids to eat veggies.

-ribeye steaks, trimmed
-worcestershire sauce
-steak seasoning

Season the steaks with worcestershire and steak seasoning on both sides. Then pan fry over medium heat in a little butter and olive oil for about 4 minutes on each side, for medium rare.

-2 heads cauliflower
-olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a 9x13 baking dish, cover and place in the over at 400 for about 30 minutes. Uncover, stir and continue making until the cauliflower is caramelized and tender.

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