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Anyone Been to The Dining Room in the last month or so?

jobostonisafoodie Apr 15, 2008 04:13 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm treating my cousin to The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton next week, but we are not sure whether to go for the tasting menu or from the regular menu. I went to their website and they have a "Salt and Pepper" tasting menu in play. Is it any good? If not, what are some standouts on the regular menu? It's our first time and we want it to be great!!

Thanks,
Jo

  1. a
    artemis Oct 3, 2008 01:01 PM

    I've got reservations for 10/24 to celebrate my new job fresh out of law school. The debate is whether to do the salt & pepper 8 course or the 9 course. They both seem fabulous, but I'm leaning towards 8-course s&p (i like the concept) but the SO is leaning towards 9-course because we'll get different things. And given how much the evening is going to cost regardless, the difference between the 8 and 9 courses isn't a factor.

    Has anyone been recently to offer suggestions?

    And just for future reference, the $30 supplement in the beef course is the name of the cow, followed by its birthdate. I spent 20 minutes on google trying to figure out what "masako" is only to learn from the ritz that it's the name of the cow!

    4 Replies
    1. re: artemis
      Scott M Oct 3, 2008 03:54 PM

      I think I could do without knowing the name of the cow they were going to serve me.

      1. re: Scott M
        wolfe Oct 3, 2008 04:05 PM

        Scott you big silly, it's not like it's Elsie.
        http://www.cremora.com/elsies_story.html
        Anyway, artemis are you sure it's not matsusaka beef ?
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561461

        1. re: wolfe
          a
          artemis Oct 4, 2008 10:11 AM

          Not sure at all. He said something about wagyu beef (or was it wagyu style?) and that being the name of the specific cow and it's birthdate. I didn't pay a great amount of attention because I don't eat beef at all.

      2. re: artemis
        Paul H Oct 3, 2008 05:36 PM

        I was there last week and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Everything was great, the only thing merely good was the bottle of 1965 Ridge Montebello I bought off of the list. If they'll let you do it, having the s&p tasting menu, and the chef''s tasting menu sounds like the way to go. You will get 20 or so different things that way which you can share. You'll really get a chance to see what the kitchen can do, and this kitchen can do quite a lot.

      3. Ruth Lafler Apr 16, 2008 12:25 PM

        At least now we know the chef will still be there: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

        5 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          a
          artemis Apr 16, 2008 03:15 PM

          i'm so excited about this. now i'll have a chance to eat there once i graduate law school and start getting a paycheck!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            Senor Popusa Apr 16, 2008 03:20 PM

            The first half of the tasting menu was superior to the second half. The amuses were some of the highlight of the meal. They offer both the salt and pepper as well as the chefs tasting menu, although the whole table must get the same menu - ala carte/salt/chefs.

            The room is kind of quiet, in that not all of the tables ever got full.

            The second half of the meal was fine but the first half was great. This was on the chef's tasting menu. Its $125 so not inexpensive.

            It's 9 courses so you will get to try many things and they will bring each of you a different version of the course. i.e. each will get a different prep of foie gras. A nice touch.

            Service a tad formal for my taste but maybe its a Ritz thing.

            I think one of the tasting menus will give the kitchen the best chance to show you what it can do.

            1. re: Senor Popusa
              s
              sfoperalover Apr 16, 2008 10:19 PM

              was just there with the missus this past saturday night. we had the 9 course and it was incredible i don't agree with the post above about the first half of the menu - we found it to be consistently wonderful.

              definately do the 9 course - it was wonderful to have so many wonderful tastes. we also did the paired wines, which for $88 pp was high value and great. service was superb as usual. not cheap by any stretch, but sublime.

              1. re: sfoperalover
                l
                lmnopm Jul 27, 2008 12:00 AM

                4 of us did the salt and pepper tasting menu tonight. It was just a wonderful dinner. From the time we sat down until the last drops of coffee/tea was about 4 hours. 3 not-on-menu starters (the quail egg w/caviar on a "dish" that was venting cedar smoke was fantastic). The menu was just as you see online. The sashimi was fantastic. The abalone was very good. The foie gras was the best I've ever had. The lobster w/pork belly was good, but I think it would have been better prior to the foie gras. It was taste-wise, sort of lost right after the richness of the foie. The poussin was delicious. The ribeye was really good (2 of us had the ribeye, 2 had the kobe supplement). I had a small taste of kobe (and the portion was tiny altogether) and the texture was phenomenal. The 2 desserts were really good, as well as the little selection cart that comes out afterward. Wine service (and service overall) was very good. Never intrusive, always there when you need them, never there when you don't want them, not stuffy, and the two "birthday boys" (well, I was one of them) had Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the dessert plate, with a candle placed in a pate de fruit.

                We brought a bottle of special bubbles, and then had a wonderful Gruner Veltiner and Cab (the Gruner we enjoyed until just before the foie gras, and then went to the cab).

                I can't say it was a "meal of a lifetime" but it was certainly the best meal I've had in quite some time, and all in all, it was a pleasant evening where I didn't feel like a table needed to be turned, where the setting was such we could all relax and hear each other across the table, and where every course brought a smile to the table.

                1. re: lmnopm
                  rworange Jul 27, 2008 09:26 PM

                  link

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                  The Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton
                  600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108

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