Brief rundown on Elisabeth Daniel, Fidi, SF
Just had dinner at Elisabeth Daniel tonight. Exquisite, eloquent and elegant. Maybe a more detailed posting will follow (I'm too busy writing a thesis), but I just want to thank everyone who recommended the place to me.
Some of my favorites:
the crayfish panna cotta with sevruga caviar and sorrel coulis
the foie gras with roasted figs and lime
the mediterranean loup de mer (mackeral like fish) with lobster bordelaise and basil oil
the cracked wheat risotto (superb aroma and quite a revelation) with glazed trumpet mushrooms and red wine-sage sauce
the fork-tender veal tenderloin with haricort verts, braised endives and almonds, a wonderful taste and textural combination
a rich and deeply vanilla bean parfait with huckleberry sauce and figs (great combination of tang berry sauce with smooth rich parfait)
everything was at least very good, and quite a few dishes were amazing. Service was friendly, unsnooty but efficient and attentive.
I think the best tables in the house are the ones near the curtained windows in the front.
Overall it was a totally worthwhile dinner, even though it was expensive.
yours is the first good review i've read about ED. and knowing your tastes i would definately trust that it was indeed good. i had heard horror stories about the severity of the entire place and the snottiness of the service.
maybe it should be on the list of possibilities...
i hope all goes well with your thesis, you'll be quite missed when you're finished here and go on to bigger and better things. hope you have a second to make it to the picnic.
I haven't been to that many "4 star" places, and my benchmarks are Chez Panisse, Aqua and Charles Nob Hill under Siegel. I think I'd be really torn between Siegel and Patterson's cooking (CP's a copletely different animal.). My impression is that former's dishes are richer and lustier, while the latter's stuff is more elegant and composed.
We were treated quite nicely at ED even though none of us were formally dressed (a designer t-shirt, a polo shirt and a dress shirt; none of us wore jackets).
For some reason, we weren't offered the wine list (perhaps because I mentioned we weren't big drinkers). We bantered for a bit, and settled on the waiter's wine suggestions, half bottles of: an 2000 Etude pinot gris ($22) and (since I decided on a cab) a '96 Cab from napa whose name eludes me now ($57). They were good competent wines and I was far from complaining, but they were not the best I've ever had. Anyway, the prices didn't seem unreasonable for such a place. They were decent choices given that I had mentioned that we were not big drinkers. The waiter had picked up that I liked rieslings, and offered the pinot gris with similar qualities.
Re: the picnic, yes - I'll be stopping by to pick up my t-shirt. :)
And I am looking forward to bigger and better things - like chowing through Berkeley next year (after trips to france and singapore)!