Posted by Lauren
**New Page Alert!!** Two weeks ago I created a page under the Dining Out tab called San Francisco Restaurant Wish List. Check it out and comment if you’ve been to any places on my list that are worth it/not worth it, or if you think something needs to be added. Link away to your own reviews too!
1. Over the past few years, my mom + Nicole + myself developed a little tradition. Right before Christmas we drive up to San Francisco and stay overnight to indulge in a day or two of shopping. Like, professional shopping. My mom might work in HR, but her true calling is shopping. We all look forward to this “girls’ trip” for many reasons, and this year’s trip is only a few weeks away!
2. Before Sugar Coated Sisters, I lugged my camera around to restaurants, snapping pictures of food + drinks (I’m so considerate, I turn off the flash most times). Convinced I would transition from 32above to a restaurant review blog, I saved all the photos. Then, one day, Nicole was like “why don’t WE start a blog” and I was like “girl, you are SO FRICKIN SMART!” …. so, one day all my photos will end up on here
2010*(1+2) = This post!
During our girls’ Xmas trip to SF last year, my mom let me pick a restaurant to have a “special dinner.” I immediately knew where to go…
Tyler Florence, the sexy lil’ Food Network chef that he is, reinvented the shuttered Rubicon about 2 years ago into Wayfare Tavern, a dashing restaurant in the Financial District.
Ty Flo’s classic American dishes are inspired by San Francisco at the turn of the century, with both French/bohemian and Wild West influences.
Ooh look at those fancy ladies across the street!
Like most restaurant outings, I read 587 yelp reviews (you think I’m joking?) and had a pro/con list going on in my head.
These two looked over the menu and helped finalize our selection…
My mom is kind of looking at me with crazy eyes, right?
Remember the red hair?
We ordered coffee for the table – our 9:15 reservation was a wee bit late.
Then, the basket of popovers came around.
Crispy outside, hollow inside, eggy; the flaky layers melt away in your mouth.
Before the food arrived, I walked around to snap a few pictures of the masculine interior.
Is that a marble fireplace? I’m not sure, but let me paint you an appropriate picture:
- wood panels
- exposed, distressed brick (< < saved from the great quake of 1906!)
- oversized fresh flour bouquets
- dim lighting + wide creme-colored candles
- reclaimed wooden floors
- open kitchen
- animal head mounts
- rustic fixtures, portraits, etc
- dark, well-stocked bar
You get the idea…
But how was the food?
Seared Sonoma Foie Gras ($18) – French toast, Oregon huckleberry, duck cracklings
My all-time favorite dish. The combination of huckleberry and foie is a match made in heaven. This is no longer on the menu, and all foie is disappearing in a couple months. I’m so happy my tastebuds were able to try this!
Poutine ($12) - braised short rib, French fried potato, truffle Jack cheese, veal jus
Nicole’s favorite of the night (she picked around the short rib and veal jus). I have a fascination with all things Canadian, so I was totally jazzed to see poutine on the menu. A little off from the classic poutine dish, the subtle truffle influence really kicked this dish up a notch.
Seared Wild Alaskan Salmon ($27) – mustard braised brussels sprouts, chanterelle, ham hock, smoked honey
While the three of us enjoyed the salmon entrée, we were underwhelmed. The mustard braised brussels sprouts were brilliant, though.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese ($8) – Jack cheese, garlic breadcrumbs, chive & smoked olive oil
We picked two side dishes and when they landed on our table, Nicole came up with one brilliant idea…
Local Foraged Mushrooms ($8) – with olive oil & garlic
Fork full of 1/2 mac, 1/2 ‘shrooms. One heavenly, complex bite. I’m not sure how many mushroom varieties are included in the side, but they were delicious, rich, and earthy.
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Can’t forget about dessert!
What would we pick?
- the carrot cake, named after his Baby Momma/wife Tolan
- the fried apple pie
- the deconstructed rocky road
- the pumpkin pudding cake, with Ty Flo’s backyard honeycomb
- the sticky toffee pudding, with black pepper ice cream
Who looks more like her? Everyone says it’s Nicole…..
We chose the ROCKY ROAD!!
Rocky Road ($9) – Sharffenberger mousse, caramel popcorn, cashews, toasted marshmallows, chocolate covered raisins, cocoa nibs
Even though we ate at Wayfare Tavern almost a year ago, I remember selecting this dessert because it was unusual and unlike anything we had ever seen. The homemade marshmallows and full-flavored mousse were quite a pair!
The big question is where will we eat THIS year?!!
Like I mentioned above, the new San Francisco Restaurant Wish List page has quite a few hopefuls. Bay AREA people I’m looking to you for recommendations! If you see something on that page you absolutely adore or think is overrated, please leave a comment! Nicole’s a vegetarian so this year’s pick has to have plenty of veg-head friendly foods. And hopefully we won’t be stuck with a 9:15 reservation. We usually stay in Union Square, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay in that area!
Question: What dessert would YOU pick?
Question: Have you ever tried foie gras? Are you crying on the inside because of the foie ban hitting California streets July 2012?
Question: What sort of holiday traditions do you and your mom/dad/sister/brother share?
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