Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Duck, duck, delicious duck

Eastside Road, January 10, 2012—
DROVE DOWN TO THE CITY today to see a show of Venetian masters (Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Giorgione wins, hands down) and dine with an old friend too infrequently seen. At a place we'd heard good things about, a place hard to get into — but a table for three at 5:15 fell right into our iPhone.

What a delicious dinner! We shared some "bouchées," little bites: a dish of four nice fat suave panisses* and another of broccoli romanesco prepared with olive tapenade, Meyer lemon, ricotta salata, and breadcrumbs.

Lindsey and I shared a marvelous salad: tiny kale leaves and duck confit, with chopped Medjool dates and sweet-sour fennel, and crisp ingenious deep-fried shallot rings strewn on top.

Then I went on to almost underdone duck-breast slices nicely grilled on the outside edges, served with slices of cotecchino, a favorite sausage of mine. Bitter escarole and nicely cooked butter beans rounded the dish out. It was superb.

Dessert: Panna cotta flavored with chicory "coffee", with espresso gelée and bits of mandarin orange on top (I'm not sure about the tangerines), with chocolate sea-salt cookies on the side.

The wine list was interesting, though I'd have liked a few less expensive items. We had a Sicilian red we like a lot: forthcoming, rich, not heavy, complex, and interesting. The service was smooth, ingratiating, personable, but not intrusive. The canned music was annoying, but that's modern life, I guess. We'll be back, I'm sure.
Frappato, Cos, 2009
Frances, 3870 17th St., San Francisco; 415.621.3870

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