Acquerello Tasting Menu?
I have a reservation at Acquerello for my 45th B-day. I have never been before and despite a Michelin star, this palace seems to have flown under my radar. With a 2 year old we don't get out as much as we used to, so I'd like a decadent sort of meal with wine pairing for this occasion. My favorite of this sort has been at the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, but having been there a few times I'd like to try someplace new.
So, should i go to Acqerello and if so should I get the tasting menu. From the website, the dishes that are not on the tasting menu actually seem more interesting to me. Any experiences here? Thanks
I truly enjoy this restaurant. The food is fabulous and the atmosphere is wonderful. I have been dining here for years for every special occasion. I don't think you will be disappointed.
1722 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Acquerello is great, but I don't think the tasting vs. dinner menu question has a definitive answer. I have had a number of excellent dinners there always ordering from the dinner menu since I find long tasting menus to be too constraining and would rather have more flexibility. But that's just a personal preference and I have no doubt that their tasting menu is good if you like that format. As for wine, they know their stuff and I would trust them to come up with good pairings no matter what you order.
At other restaurants, when I've been faced with that choice, I've often gone the tasting menu route and never regretted it. The tasting menu is often better than described, with super fabulous fresh ingredients. Often under-described and over-delivered. It's hard to second-guess unless you have a dining companion that goes the other way, though.
Sometimes restaurants will let you order items from the tasting menu a la carte, like when dining at the bar at Aqua or in the lounge at Coi. I really like that policy since it gives you access to the tasting menu in a completely flexible way and you can mix items from that menu with items from the bar/lounge menu. Even without such a stated policy, if there is an item of the tasting menu that I really would like to try, I will ask the restaurant if they are willing to serve it a la carte or as part of some other menu. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Love Acquerello. Love their wine program. I've ordered from both the tasting menu and the regular menu. Frankly, the tasting menu ended up being sensory overload. Not that that's a bad thing, but...
If the stuff on the regular menu sounds more interesting than the degustation, then just pick what you like. And given that the charge is per course, it would astound me if the chef wouldn't prepare an item off the tasting menu as one of your courses. Portion size might be slightly smaller, but this isn't a place you're going to leave hungry anyway.
The wine staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. They'll take care of you with pairings regardless of how you choose to proceed.