Yabbies Coastal Kitchen
I know that rule about getting seafood on a Monday, but I had dinner at Yabbies Coastal Kitchen tonight, a seafood place on Polk and green.
The seafood platter from the raw bar was somewhat average. The varieties of oysters and clams were fine and the mussels were great with a shallot seasoning. the prawns were unexceptional. I thought the crab and lobster could have been sweeter, more tender and less clammy. According to our waiter, the stuff was fresh and received the very same day, and were cooked that very afternoon; I wondered if they spent a bit too much time on ice.
We did have excellent wines. I got an Alsatian pinot gris (I hope I remember this right as I picked it more for the region than the varietal) - that was more complex than I expected and finished with a subtle caramel note. We also enjoyed a late harvest Viottetta for dessert (it's from Grgich Hills, Napa, after checking the website).
In contrast to the seafood platter, the desserts were probably the best I've had recently (that includes some pretty good sweets at Cafe Kati). The thick soft and sponge-textured crepes were filled generously (but not overwhelmingly) with sweet mascarpone. This rested in a light vanilla sauce with a few berries on the side. I loved it. There was also a warm gingerbread cake that was perfectly accompanied by slightly caramelized banana slices, a scoop of good rich vanilla ice cream and drizzles of chocolate and raspberry sauce.
The service was also some of the best I've witnessed recently. We were actually dressed very casually - t-shirt and pants for me - but weren't treated any differently. The waiter was very knowledgable, friendly and chatty (but not overly so). In addition, when I mentioned that we weren't as satisfied with crab and lobster in response to her "How was everything?", she checked with the kitchen right away and told us that the seafood had just come in that day. After that, she went out of her way to make the evening as pleasant as possible and even comped our second violetta when my friend ordered a second glass after being really happy with the first. (Of course we gave her a great tip in the end and left happy.)
Given the great wines, desserts, service and the fairly good (and cheap - Kumamotos at $1.95) oysters , I'm inclined to come back to try their other cooked entrees and appetizers, despite my other disappointments with their crustaceans.
I usually wont order fish on a Sunday night as there is no way it's as fresh as possible. Mondays can be hit or miss, but almost every respectable restaurant should have fresh deliveries that day. Haven't been to Yabbies in awhile - didn't the original chef move?? I think it was to Emma!?! Anyway, the meal we had at that time was very good.