Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Table d'hôte

San Francisco, February 7, 2017—
THE CURRENT FASHION hereabouts in the restaurant business seems to be table d'hôte : a fixed menu with perhaps alternative courses at a set price.

Tonight we stopped in at a newish place that's had good reviews. Here's this week's menu:

Wedge Salad or Celery Root Bisque
* Lamb Pappardelle or Uni Risotto *
Red Snapper or New York Strip Steak
Grapefruit Panna Cotta or Double Chocolate Sundae

prix fixe: $45 (*pasta course, $10 extra)
I had the salad and steak, and pappardelle too. There was a lot to like here, but it didn't start right away — the Iceberg lettuce, which I don't mind as a general rule, seemed stale; it tasted of the refrigerator. (We ate late in the evening, and perhaps that's the reason.) The buttermilk ranch dressing was bland and a little gloppy; the blue cheese crumbles not really top-flight.

But the pappardelle! What a nice dish: scraps of lamb, beautifully made and cooked pasta, little slices of Castelvetrano green olives, baby fennel. The irrelevant tomato added color but little more, but that's easily set aside. The lamb and pasta reminded me of eating in Rome, and that's a compliment.

The steak course wasn't as integrated, as pointed. My fault maybe: I'm not fond of parsnips, turnips, or rutabaga, and all three figured on this plate. But the steak, thin-sliced and barely medium rare, tasted very nicce, and the watercress reminded me of Paris evenings.

Panna cotta: can't resist it. I'm not supposed to eat grapefruit, but one or two sections can't hurt, right?

Petit sirah, Preston of Dry Creek, 2014: an old favorite

Trestle, 531 Jackson Street, San Francisco; +1 (415) 772-0922

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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