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2117 still humming along

john gonzales | Jul 11, 200401:03 PM

We were debating Beacon, but went with the old stand-by 2117, in part so that we could bring wines. Another very fulfilling meal.
They charged $8 corkage fo each bottle. They often waive at least one, especially if one talks to Hideo. However, $8 is completely fine. They gave us an ice bucket for the white and separate (though only average quality) glasses for a white and a red. We brought a Domaine Alfred Pinot Gris and an Amour Fou Pinot. The PG was excellent. It's from a small producer (also making good PN in Edna Valley) and a nice alternative to good Alsatian PG. I have to say PG is one of my favorite summer food wines, as its slight acidity, paired with nice mango/pear/apple fruitiness, a little honied; go well with lighter foods, and spicy food. The Amour Fou Pinot is a first, small effort by the Red Car people who make fantastic Cali rhones. One of the proprietors works at Wine House. Anyhow, the wine was of the huge pinot camp. Very ripe, super-extracted, and toward the high end of the alcohol range for pinot. It was good, perhaps more of a cocktail wine; as it lacked the acidity to pair it real well with the food.

Food-wise I had the Prix Fixe. I think this is a great option there. It's $35, for an amuse, two appetizer choices (from the menu), an one's entree choice (again from menu), and a house chosen dessert.
The amuse was a very good thin slice of smoked duck breast with a tad of fruit (apple?) compote on top.
I started with the tuna tartare, served with some diced avocado and just a few of fine frizzy greens, drizzled with a touch of slightly seasoned sesame oil, served on a fired-crispy won-ton skin. Very good. Next appetizer I had was the diced duck egg-rolls. These were great, especially with a sauce with a pureed mango base.
We wanted to try the foie gras, so my wife ordered ala carte . They will allow you to choose specials (the FG) with the prix fixe, but upcharge the difference in price which is fair and makes for great flexibility in ordering. The FG ( $14.50) was a small slice, seared very well; which is my prep of choice. It was surrounded by a bit of apple puree, along with a bit of a cassis sauce. Excellent. I like some of the different FG preps going on these days, but really still prefer seared, fruit component, with touch of acidic sauce. All the appie made for excellent pairing with the Pinot Gris.
For entree I had the Kurobata (sp?) Pork loin stuffed with herbed goat cheese. It was Seared to a nice brown outside, cooked through, yet just right so as to reamin moist. I can't remember the components, but it also had a sauce with some onions, stock, and fruit that made for another excellent dish; and big portion taboot. The pork/cheese combo actually paired real well with the pinot (as did the smoked duck amuse)
My wife had the Soft-Shell Crab, stuffed with Blue crabmeat, lightly coated and fried ($22?). She loved it. I'm not a mjor soft-shell fan, due to some bizarre psychology. This from someone who loves foie gras! Anyhow, even I liked the stuffed bites I tried.
The house dessert was a vanilla bean panne cotto. Good, nice flavor. Nothing special, so of course we ordered another dessert ala carte. The crepes stuffed with banana, chunks of what seemed like ultra gooey brownie, and a little creme, were very good and put us over the top.
The tab, including two corkages, and one coffee (prior to tip) was $102. It was a big meal with lots of excellent tastes. Chef Hideo really is adept at doing quality ingredients, with both European and Asian influences. I also think it comes at a price that is markedly less than a night at one of the name spots.

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