Had a good dinner tonight at the busy and swanky Farallon just off of Union Square. It was quite packed but I suppose it's par for a Saturday night. I'm sure everyone has a pretty good idea of the beautiful underwater themed decor, so I'm not going into details here.
Foodwise, the dishes are more or less as good as I remember them and pretty much as pricey (entrees around $29). You might be able to get similar quality at Cosmopolitan Cafe or Cobalt Tavern, at 3/4 the price, but you won't get the beautiful interiors, and that's what we knowingly paid for. On whole, I decided that it an acceptable deal. Your mileage may vary.
Shared 2 dozen crisp, fresh oysters for appetizers, of which six were topped with caviar (oysters farallon). Great flavor, especially since it's been a while since I've had oysters.
Also had a bite of the scallop from the scallop and foie gras appetizer. It was well cooked, with a nice springy texture and a faint touch of scallop-sweetness.
The lobster bisque was rich and delicate at the same time. Nice creaminess, and a well tuned lobster flavor.
For entrees, the wild bass with clams was fine. fish was juicy and tender, and there were nice flavor complements from the tomato based sauce, as well as grilled tomatoes, and sauteed squash and zucchinis. It came with two long slices of toasted baguette covered in a pink cream sauce. Good but not excellent.
I thought the skate wing stuffed with prawns was better. The skate was delicate and silky and the minced prawns had great flavor. Also in attendance were light, crunchy lobster mushrooms. Only complaint was that the dish appeared a bit over salted. But I liked it a lot.
I had a fragrant cashew tart surrounded by the thick goo of caramel sauce for dessert. The richness was offset a little by the accompanying poached pear,whose softness also countered the nutty crunch of the tart.
The valrhona chocolate tart was deeply, seductively rich as expected, and almost overwhelming, but the incredible chocolate flavor, tinged with a baritone bitterness, was quite irresistable. On the side is a scoop of chocolate ice cream (light in comparison to the tart) sitting on a leaf of white chocolate. Quite a delight for a chocolate lover.
I liked this place, despite the hefty price tag. Service was efficient but easygoing and on the whole, I enjoyed the (albeit pricey) meal. I certainly would not mind going back if I need that extra something from the fabulous dining room for a special occasion, but if all I'm after is food alone, I know there are better deals elsewhere. I'll certainly remember to ask for a table in the back, where the room is less crowded than the front area near the bar.