Sunday, November 25, 2007


252 California (b/w Battery & Sansome)
(415) 956-9662

French/ Seafood in Financial

My tastes in fine dining have evolved since I first started getting really into eating out. My very first fine dining experience was at La Folie, which still to this day I remember as being amazing... but was that just because I didn't have any other restaurant really to compare it to? I bring this up only because I wonder... had this meal at Aqua been my first fine dining experience, would I have been just as blown away?

Aqua is definitely very good. Impeccable service, extremely knowledgeable wait staff, beautiful plating, and good quality food. I went here with my family for my mom's and my birthdays, and we all opted for the 3-course since that was already a good amount of food (as opposed to the tasting menu, which is... 9 courses? I'm too lazy to look it up). Their amuse was a trio of minis that didn't really go together, but their mushroom soup had a kick of hazelnuts, which I am widely known to be a sucker for.

L: Amuse bouche - Monterey sardine over celery root salad, mushroom soup w/ creme fraiche & hazelnuts, smoke ahi tuna croquette w/ roasted bell pepper sauce
M: white sturgeon + veal cheeks, served with cremini and hollowed
potato w/ marrow (very cute)
R: Atlantic cod w/... stuff

They're known for their tuna tartare, which was ok, but honestly, I'd rather taste the fish than all those spices. I had a trio of foie (one poached, one in sweet bon bon form - not my fave, and one cured). For entrees, everything was ok, but I must say that I really liked the cod. The plating looked so time-consuming, but it really was the best dish of the evening by taste.

L: Apple tatin w/ green apple sorbet M: Pineapple medley, including ice cream, "caviar," foam, etc. R: cookies and candy

I was really disappointed with their dessert menu. My friend used to work there, and she always described the desserts as so amazing... but on this occasion, they just.. weren't! Maybe my expectations were too high, but the only thing that really intrigued me was the "Fall Composition," which turned out to be the one that only Joe ate (he eats everything). "Le Kit Cat" did make an appearance and it was very well done, and the pineapple medley was beautifully adorned with a dried, thin slice of pineapple that looked like a snowflake/flower... but in the end, the never failing Grand Marnier souffle was the winner. Their plate of cookies/candies (I forget the French term for it) was also kind of a let down. I can't even really remember what was on it because it was so unmemorable - sad! Maybe fall just isn't this pastry chef's best season....

L: Chocolate mousse dessert w/ Le Kit Cat (they didn't actually call it that, but that's basically what it was), roasted bananas (SWEET), & a lime caramel sauce
M: "Fall Composition" - from the bottom up, huckleberry compote, some other fruit I forgot, maple creme I think, quince gelee, gingerbread cookies, some other stuff I don't remember... there was a lot going on
R: Grand Marnier souffle w/ candied (?) citrus

All in all, this was a very solid meal, but nothing particularly blew me away. I think I'm over eating out, but that's a whole other post....

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