Piperade, SF report (w/ pics)
Two of us went to dinner here Mon 7/17/06. I made reservations over the phone in the morning a little after 10am and the lady said I had the last reservation!!
Walking from Embarcadero Bart takes about 15 minutes, and we got to the restaurant about 30 minutes before our reservation. We were seated anyways since it wasn't busy yet. B. got a glass of wine. We got bread which was good and dipped w/ the slightly spicy olive oil. Later we noticed there was a red pepper floating above the olive oil.
Everything sounded good on the menu so it was a tough decision. Dishes we tried: garlic soup w/ rock shrimp, bacon, bread & egg $10-was good but I was expecting a creamy soup--it was too watery for me and didn't come with any bacon that I could see or taste.
Warm Piquillo peppers w/ goat cheese, Calif raisins & moscated vinaigrette $10 was good, but for the price I'll skip it next time.
B. got a cod dish appetizer that he really liked. $10-$12 can't remember.
Marinated lamb chops w/ a potato gratin $23-Excellent. Very tender and juicy, ask for it medium rare! Potato gratin was delicious.
I got the veal cheeks comes w/ peas and corn and some brown sauce. $23. I liked the veal cheeks-which was very tender but I didn't like the peas-too hard, corn was just ok--maybe from a can.
Dessert-we tried the turron mouse cake w/ roasted almonds. $7. It was very light tasting and the almonds were crunchy reminding me of corn flakes a bit.
Total was around $90 after tax but before tip. I'd go back to try other dishes that Chowhounds like such as the warm sheep's milk cheese & ham terrine $12, steamed pacific snapper $19, Biarritz chocolate rocher dessert $7; or the chocolate cake "amatxi" $7 (seen on Check Please). Portions are good size and we left really full, but we also had no leftovers.
On OpenTable they only have one seating at 6pm. They have two unisex bathrooms.
1015 Battery St (@ Green)
Lunch M-F 11:30-3pm
Dinner M-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm
We ate there Saturday 8/12/06 and were quite pleased. We shared 3 small plates, 1 large plate, an order of mixed veg, 2 desserts, and 1 bottle of wine.
Our favorite of the small plates was the bacalao carpaccio with oyster tartare and lemon creme fraiche. Just delicious! The oysters were very flavorful and whole dish worked together wonderfully. We ate it in very small bites to savor it. Our next favorite was the warm sheeps milk cheese and ham terrine. Deliciously salty, crusty, and flavorful. The frisee salad was an excellent contrast. The third small plate was the dungeness crab salad, which was utterly forgetable.
For our main, we had the veal cheeks with roasted nectarines. The meat was as succulent as you could imagine and was delicious with the nectarines. Neither of us cared for the cooked green peppers which seem to detract rather than add, but they were easy to ignore. The mixed vegetables were beans, mushrooms, red peppers, and onions, almost carmelized. Yum. A bit salty perhaps, but I like salt.
The gateau Basque in mango coulis was pleasant enough, but nothing we'd recommend. The turron mousse cake, on the other hand, was heavenly. I'm not a big mousse fan, but this one managed to be deliciously rich and light at the same time. The sweet, crunchy almonds, the silky mousse, and the thin base of cake were a symphony of textures. Our waiter confided afterwards that it's his favorite dessert.
For the wine, we had Txomin Etxaniz, a Basque wine with a slight effervescence, a fruity, green flavor, and a surprising astringency (in the best of senses). It went very well with the appetizers, though was a bit too light for the veal cheeks. Still, we're glad we ordered it. The waiter suggested a white rioja as an alternative that probably would have stood up better to the veal, but we were intrigued by this one.
Our only complaint about the service is that all three of our small plates came out at the same time, making it tricky to fit them on the table and to share them. We had thought we might get one (or at most two) at a time and would also be given separate plates to serve out on. Also, both the small plates and the main came out extremely fast, like less than 5 minutes between ordering (or clearing) and appearing, hardly a moment digestif to sip the wine. At least it kept us from filling up on bread and olive oil like we did at Il Fornaio a few days earlier!
We plan to go back and order more red wine dishes next time. The list of Basques reds piques our curiousity.
re: Melanie Wong
Thanks for the link to your report. Too bad I didn't read it before going -- we could have skipped the crab salad and had the foie gras instead.
Our turron mousse cake didn't include any caramel sauce! Not that I thought it needed anything more, but now I'm feeling shortchanged. Oh well, never mind, I still loved it as it was.