i don't know why but last nite at 8, the place was not packed, you could find a seat for a pre dinner cocktail in the comfortable half full bar.... and it was great!
here's what we ordered, more or less
(a) simple green salad with endive, oranges, pickled beets and lemon vinaigrette ($7). did not notice much if any endive and felt the dressing lacked a bit of punch despite some nice lemony elements that were brought out w/a liberal addition of salt. really enjoyed the pommegranate seeds in here
(b) smoked salmon timbale with dungeness crab, rock shrimp, apple and avocado mousse ($12) - a nice rendition of something found on many menus but lightly dressed and a twist on presentation w/the "wrapping" (almost like endive) around the salmon.
(c) roasted cauliflower soup with curry, ginger and duck confit ($10)
(d) prosciutto di parma pizza with caramelized onions, fromage blanc and bear ($12) - if you come expecting a big, blistering "a16" crust, you will be disappointed as the presentation is more restrained but the taste combination was wonderful, esp the pear.
(e) mushroom dusted scallops with black trumpet mushrooms and potato puree ($12 for 3 scallops, $20 for 5) - perfectly seared scallops - so simple but so fantastic. i found the mashed potatoes a bit boring - maybe i'm being mean and i should say classic.....the seasoning on the scallops was just amazing and the $12 serving size was an amazing value.
(f) citrus glazed salmon with lobster lemongrass sauce, King Eryngiis and Basmati Rice ($10/$18) - again, the smaller portion size is very generous. Found the side again a bit of a disappointment (too buttery, not that that is a bad thing....) while the star of the course, the salmon, was cooked very nicely (med rare) and napped in a balanced, rich sauce.
(g) Brined and Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Glazed Apples and Chestnut Spaetzle ($19) - unlike the 2 fish courses, here the accompaniments shone along with the protein. YUUUM. Highly recommmend!
I would love to try the buger next time.
We skipped dessert - not enticed by the menu here.
For wines, we brought a Batard Montrachet 99 and a Sin Qua Non Pinot from Shea Vineyard. The sommolier was very friendly and helpful and steered us to another pinot from School House. You can spend as much or as little as you want on wine here and wind up with something great. The sommolier is a key ingredient to this restaurant, in my opinion! He creates an easy going vibe that really helped us have a fun evening.
i thought the value here was incredible - you can easily spend under $30 per person on food and eat incredibly well, and wine, as noted above, is up to you. (as is getting seemingly more common, there is a "bargain page" highlighted in the wine list, although here, it presents wonderful wines under $25 vs. the $40 or more that I've seen in the past).