Follow us:

Explore More Cities › +
Discover the unexpected in the Bay Area. Explore All of SF Bay Area
Restaurants & Bars

Campton Place DAT

Windy | Jan 12, 200506:13 PM

A friend treated me to lunch today at Campton Place (which I remembered Derek praising last year). This is the rare spot where you are getting a great value for your promotion; a three-course lunch at Campton Place ordinarily costs $39 instead of $22.

There are two choices for each of the three courses, plus an amuse bouche of warm beet soup with tiny diced apples and ginger (lovely). I persuaded her to order the whole menu and share.

Warm baskets of olive bread and a grittier whole wheat that I didn't care for. Royal service from every member of the staff. It's a sunny space, very comfortable in the day time. Daniel Humm is the new chef at Campton Place; as someone noted in an earlier post, Patricia Untermann recently wrote a rave review.

Appetizers were a mussel "cappucino" and fennel won tons with fresh flowers and herbs. The cappucino was probably my favorite dish. A small cup of briny soup with a bit of froth and drops of tarragon oil, a few oysters, pea pods, and cherry tomatoes in the bottom. The won tons were spectacular to look at, and the texture was good. I really liked the dill and flowers on top of them and the balsamic reduction, although I didn't taste any fennel. I gazed longingly at an appetizer at the next table, which turned out to be tuna tartare, and the Maine scallops at another table looked divine.

Entrees were a Hawaiian walu in a ring of sauces--bits of olive, basil oil, etc and a shredded beef in cabbage and with pureed butternut squash with potatoes and bits of celery root. The fish was fine but I much preferred the angus beef. Each dish was a work of art. (The cutlery was also notable; I'd never seen a notched sauce spoon before, but our server graciously informed us it worked better with the left hand.)

Desserts were a slice of chocolate cake with ganache and a fan and a blue cheese with pureed pear and toasted walnuts. Both okay, less interesting than the other dishes or the dessert wines. I was less enamored of the purees in general--a slice of pear would have been a good contrast in textures with the blue.

Portions are small by American standards, but more than enough for lunch or a tasting menu.

A "wine about town" trio of half glasses is available for $21.95 to complement the selections. I had a glass of pinot gris with my entree and then we shared a flight of dessert wines (two sauternes including a 1999 Chateau Y'Quem and a tokaji, split and quite generously poured) for $30.

All in all, very grand. I spent more on wine than for our lunches, which I suppose is the point. I'd be more tempted to return for the tasting menu at dinner (now simply a matter of choosing how many courses you want) than spending $100 for lunch again. Exemplary service--attentive, friendly, never rushed despite our lingering. The room got a little loud at peak times, but I imagine it would be quieter at dinner.

Several juicy looking burgers and fries went by on their way to the bar.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›
Log In or Sign Up to comment

Recommended from Chowhound