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Oct 2, 2007 01:06 PM


Sens - opened on October 1 for lunch and dinner.
"inspired by the Southern Mediterranean, focusing on Turkey, North Africa and Greece."

If you're reading blogs, then you've had a play-by-play accounting of the rigors and ambitions of a new restaurant -
The perfection of details from the selection of stemware to the artful plating of the sublime desserts promises a culinary adventure and delivers pleasures to the palate with sustainability intention, organic and local.

Lunching is a guilty pleasure, a three-hour respite with a dear friend after a two-month absence. It's the rare occasion made very special by the postcard-perfect view of the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge with impeccable service and the comfort of leather chairs, over glasses of Prosecco and Vermentio; laughing at life's follies, everyday minutiae and a friendship that spans 37 years.

I can imagine this table aglow under autumn's full moon. We're eager to return for the Autumn Squash and Chestnut Manti or the Mint Noodles with wild gulf prawns or the Wood Roasted Whole Fish and vegetable briam. For lunch; the Lamb Burger, beautifully medium-rare with pickled okra and fries, the Seasonal Greens with pomegranate, orange blossom honey and coriander vinaigrette, the Bitter Lettuces with mache, endive and Mission figs, Graviera cheese and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and a side of the incredibly beautiful colors of the Fall Vegetable Briam. Coffees. Ethereal cumin-scented pot de creme with apple-walnut-white fig salad is Autumn Arrival...the other was Shuna's Famous Dark Chocolate Sauce with sesame cake. I came for Dessert and stayed for lunch. Truly delightful.

Sens is beautiful Wood, Stone, Art glass sconces. Gracious hospitality. Simply wonderfood, that's a typo that will suffice for the moment.

4 Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level
(at the top of the spiral walkway) at Sacramento and Drumm Streets
San Francisco 94111

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  1. Are you saying you had lunch there yesterday and had the lamb burger, two salads, the briam, and two desserts?

    Pat Kuleto originally designed the space for Splendido, which turned into Monte Cristo Cafe. Has it been redecorated much?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I dropped by today on my way back to my office from the farmers market to look at the menu. It appears they have redecorated not much at all. Although they probably changes the linens, drapes, etc., the only major difference I noticed was that the room that's on the entry side, away from the windows, has curtains in the doorways, which does give it a more quiet, private, tent-like feel.

      The menu really does look interesting -- somewhat more creative than one would expect from a restaurant of that size in that location. I seem to remember the prices as being about what you'd expect, with entrees in the mid-teens to mid-twenties (steak) at lunch. I think the appetizers were mostly $8-9 and so were the desserts.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        yes, Robert; the lamb burger, two salads, the briam, and two desserts with glasses of Prosecco and Vermentino and two coffees with conversation.

        We so wanted to order the Grilled Vitelloni Tongue, the Turkish Flat Bread, the Crispy OIives, and the Squid stuffed with pine nuts, golden raisins, bulgur and spinach! These appetizers are tantalizing.

        I am unfamiliar with both the Splendido and Monte Cristo Cafe. I imagine that the stonework is original, and the views of the Ferry Bldg. and the Bay are unaltered. For me, Sens defines this corner of the world unto itself.

      2. While you were "laughing at life's follies, everyday minutiae and a friendship that spans 37 years" did you happen to catch a price range? The website isn't up yet.

        2 Replies