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blue plate SF report

augustiner | Aug 15, 2008 05:57 AM

went to blue plate tonight for a farewell dinner. we were seated in the lovely outside garden with heat lamps. i've eaten here quite a few times and never bothered reporting, mainly because blue plate is just such a staple. but it's always recommended when people ask about dining in the area, so i thought i'd do an update report.

we had quite a few appetizers:

grilled romaine: still crisp grilled romaine topped with a bacon dressing and cherry tomatoes. if we still had some of the house made focaccia, this would have made a wonderful take on a great BLT.

sardine bruschetta: on toasted bread with a fava bean puree. considering how strong sardines can taste, i have to say that i can't even remember how this tasted. least memorable dish.

grilled monterey calamari with lemon and sorrel: i find it impossible to say negative things about calamari that is cooked well, and this was cooked well.

fatted calf mortadella: served with grilled plums, frisee lettuce, and pistachio crumbs, echoing the pistachios in the mortadella. i finished this myself. enjoyed it very much.

free serving of padron peppers with goat cheese and marcona almonds. great starter snack. we were warned that some of the chiles would be spicy, but most would be mild. these were mild, brightly roasted and tempered by the richness of the cheese and almonds.

i had the hanger steak for my entree, which was described as "chile marinated," above a wonderful potato salad and watercress. another of our party was worried about the spiciness, and we were told that it was mildly spicy, based on a korean approach to meat. i started laughing and said "leave it to me to gravitate to the korean style steak," but make no mistake, this was not spicy at all, and didn't even suggest "korean" to me. but it was good, if not memorable. i was more into the two sides of their wonderful mac'n cheese. didn't taste the other dishes, which included roasted halibut, a black summer truffle gnocchi with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and ricotta salata (my second choice), a roasted chicken on....i'm sorry, i don't remember...and the famous meatloaf, which i had a bite of, and realized that bacon must make all the difference in that immutable standard. oh, i did have a bit of chicken breast, and it was very tender, and juicy, but i'm just not a fan of that bit of meat.

we had two banana cream pies, a nectarine and blackberry pie, and a hazelnut creme brulee that was quite astonishing, garnished with figs and rasberries.

wines? i took a picture of the label of one of the whites, but i can't remember wines at all. it's like asking me to do my multiplication tables. l can't do it.

so the next time someone inquires about dining in the mission, especially past cesar chavez, i hope this gives a decent idea of what to expect. blue plate is absolutely one of my favorite local restaurants.

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