Tuesday, March 20, 2007

gary danko

800 North Point (and Hyde)
(415) 749-2060

Californian/French near Fisherman's Wharf

It was by the far the BEST meal of my entire life! The lamb was the best I have ever tasted... and it was the worst dish in the meal... that's how great it was! The seared foie grois was amazing, and the lobster and stuffed quail were absolute heaven! The selection of cheeses was a really cool experience, too!

Three courses per person is more than enough food. If I go here again with someone, the ideal combination would be two 3-course meals - 3 appetizers (including foie grois), the lobster, a game dish, and the cheese course. I'd skip the dessert (trio of creme brulee) just because I'm not that big on dessert and have had similar quality elsewhere. Plus, they give you chocolate cake to go.

I went here for my mom's birthday (as well as mine), and I actually thought it was overrated. Maybe it's because my standards have increased after having the best meal of my life, but I was actually not that impressed, especially since Gary Danko is supposed to be the best in SF!

I had the foie gras to start, and it was good and very rich... but just too much. I guess at a nice restaurant most people would be delighted to get a really large portion, but two large pieces of liver is just too much, even if I love the stuff. The lobster was really good, as was the duck (seared, and accompanied with duck hash -- REALLY GOOD. not quite like corn beef hash but with duck instead of corn beef... but rather like... a salty duck salad? i'm obviously bad at describing food, hence why i am not a food critic professionally). I had a pear souffle for dessert, which was light and delicious. The pear flavor was a bit too subtle (i.e. I couldn't taste it), but it was good nonetheless.

The service was amazing - they have a very large staff for a nice restaurant, and set everything onto the table simultaneously (top chef stephen style) which makes for fantastic presentation. They're very friendly and patient, especially considering that they did not act snotty at all to old asian parents (one of which was wearing a baseball cap) who have never really gone to a nice french restaurant.

Gary Danko was definitely classy, but I took away a star because I remember enjoying the food at La Folie more. Maybe I was also expecting too much, since it IS praised as the best in SF (which it is not, sorry).

Tequila Sunrise
Two glasses of amazing (and very expensive) German champagne!

Amuse Bouche
Gazpacho soup, a gift from the kitchen

Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Red Onions, Peaches and Toasted Hazelnuts
Sweet White Corn Soup with Corn Truffle Ravioli and Summer Truffles

Fish/Seafood Course
Roast Maine Lobster with Chanterelles, Corn and Tarragon

Meat and Game
Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb with Summer Vegetable Tian, Mint-Sweet Pea Risotto and Salsa Verde
Cornbread Stuffed Quail with Tasso Ham, Sweet Corn and Black-Eyed Pea Succotash

A Selection of Farmhouse and Artisanal Cheeses Presented Tableside

Trio of Creme Brulee with Cookies
Happy Birthday Petit Fours
Chocolate Cheesecake to go

They have these portable hooks that they put at the edge of the table for you to hang your purse on - it was pretty neat and I had never seen that before! =) And the bathroom had a shoe buffer, which you also don't see often.

-m/l (guest food critic) - k

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