Belle of the Fall

October 7, 2013

Gettin' cozy at Lafayette

Gettin’ cozy at Lafayette

Well, Fall is in full swing, blogosphere, and i hope you have been out and about taking advantage of all it has to offer. I sure have been. Let’s take today’s post to talk about restaurants. Some new ones:

Lafayette

In the old China Brasserie space — or, for those of you who can really think back, the older Time Cafe and Fez space (if those walls could talk) — chef a la momento Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde and Dutch fame goes French…very French. The large space has been broken up to feel cozier, and there is a large outdoor seating area. If you’re lucky, you’ll score a banquette where you and your date can sidle up next to one another. Quelle romantique! There’s lots of white tile and candles and servers everywhere but they are still working out some kinks. (Our appetizers came out right away but then there was a super long gap before our entrees appeared. So much so that they ended up giving us each a glass of free wine to tie us over.)

Anyway, get to the food! The egg lafayette is like the most incredible deviled egg you have ever eaten. Try it, for sure, with a glass of champagne. Why not?! The pate maison was just so-so, although the large mason jar of cornichons was a nice touch. I decided to go with the duck, which was not a usual choice for me but it was a good one — it was juicy and tasty and cooked just right. For dessert we had a pear tatin for 2, which wasn’t the best I’ve ever had (Cafe Pompidou in Paris, FYI), but it was good and seemed like a perfect French ending. It’s definitely a scene at the moment, and that makes it fun.

DB Bistro Moderne

I had been to this Daniel Boulud restaurant years ago, and found it to be so-so. They just renovated and re-did the menu so we went back with some friends. I am still not blown away, but there were some highlights. (The menu is a bit confusing — there is a traditional and a nouveau area. Ask the server to explain.) The escargot spaetzle is pretty darn good, and isn’t something you’re going to make at home anytime soon. The pretzel rolls they set on the table are pretty darn good, too. And the wine selection is great. If you’re in midtown, it’s worth sitting at the bar and ordering a drink with some appetizers. It’s definitely hopping and the room is nice, but I’m still not sold of dropping $200 for a not-so-out-of-the-ordinary evening.

And then, on the west coast in San Francisco:

Central Kitchen

This is California Cuisine at its best — definitely worth doing the tasting menu and letting the chef go crazy. It’s all locally sourced and everyone there is too cool for school — but that’s just another night in the Mission. Open another fantastic bottle of wine, get lost in some conversation and just enjoy the tasty plates as they keep on coming.

Mikkeller

My friend wanted me to meet her here for some beer and small plates before I got on a plane back to the east coast, and as I was walking to meet her I thought she was trying to get me killed. Seriously! This bar is incredible, but it is in a sketchy area, pretty much in the Tenderloin. It’s a bizarre oasis in a sea of SROs. But get there early if you want a seat at the bar — the worker bees from Twitter, Facebook, and whatever other start up is nearby fill up the place fast. They let you try any beer you want, and they’ve got about 42 beers on tap from some of the best breweries around the world. And the food is no joke! Many were ordering the sausage sampler…we skipped that but did get some pickled veggies, figs with goat cheese and prosciutto, french fries…you can’t really go wrong.

That should wet your whistle…next time I’ve got some beauty recos, among other things.

Etc.

Doesn’t the weekend always go so fast?! Mentally preparing to get back to the grind…eye of the tiger! 🙂

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