Trying to Canteen Myself...
Just ate for the second time in a week at Canteen. I went last week for the prix fixe on Tuesday, not knowing what was in store, and was blown away by the fantastic three course offering: a duck confit amuse bouche, perfect creamy crab and carrot soup, a main of alaskan cod served over savoy spinch and a black truffle emulsion, and a cozy ginger bread served with caramelized pineapple and a lemony vanilla cream. And I forgot to mention the sublime brioche/parker house rolls.
My dining buddy and I were so overcome that we made reservations on the spot for tonight (a mere week later) to enjoy the lobster thermidor prix fixe. Tonight we enjoyed a foie and fig amuse, a smoky and hearty chickpea, lamb, and okra salad, the thermidor (which was a much lighter interpretation) made up of lobster cooked to the perfect point of tenderness, and a tangy olive oil cake served with a house marshmallow (that's what I'm calling it) and blood orange granita. And oh yes, more bread.
The sum effect of both meals was completely sublime, and there was a lot of dead air and each my dining buddy and I became so focused on the food that we couldn't even pretend to make conversation. I am blown away by the quality and creativity of Chef Leary's food. Canteen so far has passed my saturation test (multiple visits in close proximity) with flying colors, and I can't wait to see what prix fixe options are down the pipeline, not to mention to sample the "normal" menu at both dinner and brunch.
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Great news, you have inspired me to try again. Canteen was a long fav after going opening day a few years back. Their breakfasts are/were so good to.
It is funny how fickle we become over one mediocre meal. I went for a special Xmas menu the year before last (there was a smoked sturgeon dish, I recall) there were few standouts and I had not been back.
But that is hardly fair. Your post reminded me how good they can be. Now on strategy for getting a seat.....