After a great day in Golden Gate Park, we were ready to return to the scene of one of my favourite dinners: Canteen (817 Sutter Street). We had booked the 7:30 seating several weeks in advance as we knew that it would be popular, especially on a Friday night. After a short wait in the student residence lobby next door we were seated in one of the middle booths. I opted for a Vouvray whilst the SO selected a glass of Pinot Noir. An amuse of goat cheese in a shot glass arrived which was light but rich, followed by brioche/buns. The SO was craving mussels so went with the soup which was pronounced excellent (I’m not a mussel fan and I even allowed as to how it was edible).
I was craving fish so went for the double shot, starting with cod quenelles with a cauliflower whip. These little dudes were just heartwarming, the coddy goodness contrasting subtly with the airyness of the whip and the richness of the chive butter sauce. I followed up with pumpkin seed crusted black cod on leeks with pomegranate sauce which I really enjoyed despite not being a great leek fan (I had a brain spasm while ordering and didn’t register the leeks). The black cod was moist, unctuous and perfectly cooked. I did think it might have benefited from the addition of a starch but since we had ordered not one but two vanilla soufflés for dessert perhaps it is just as well it was absent.
The SO had a lamb stew which he enjoyed very much and I apparently missed taking notes on -- oops; check out the photo instead. The service as per last visit was excellent, friendly but professional and unobtrusive which is kind of a feat in such a tiny place. The BOH were on their game too as we ordered the second soufflé late in the game and they still came out within two minutes of one another. The soufflé was as light and ethereal as I remembered, and it was no hardship to finish one all to myself. I still can’t believe they not only put out all the apps and mains but the sweets too from that microcosmic galley. We finished up with a couple of decaf cappuccinos made with coffee from Mr Espresso in Oakland (we saw the factory/outlet on our way to Fruitvale), the server noting a tad wryly that this company started in the 70s so “they’re allowed” to be called that . Our repast set us back $104 plus tip and once again I found myself wishing that Canteen was located in Vancouver.
See also the following links for all our other food-centric ramblings this trip if you're interested:
Tadich Grill http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573854
Blue Bottle http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573858
Lime Tree http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573860
Farmers Markets http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573868
Bar Tartine http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573872
Canteen and Café de la presse breakfasts http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573873
Bodega Bistro http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573874
La Ciccia http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573876
BonBon Patisserie http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573877
Anchor Steam SFO http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573878