I had the great pleasure of spending four days and four nights in your fine city last week. Here's a recap of most of my dining experiences:
1) I had lunch at Salumi twice, the meatball sandwich the first day, and the finnochiona the second. I also bought a hunk of finnochiona to bring home. This was a fun experience, especially the jugs of wine sitting on the tables. Loved the pictures on the wall and the family feel.
2) One morning I had breakfast at The Aethenian in the market. The clam hash was actually pretty good, especially with the view of the brightening morning and the ferries crossing the bay.
3) Matt's in the Market- I knew the place would be small, but I didn't realize how small. What a cool spot. Even as a solo diner on a Wednesday night, there wasn't really room for me, but they created a space for me at the end of the bar. I appreciated that. I loved watching the chef work his magic on his two small burners and finish everything in the convection oven. It was incredible to watch. The Penn Cove mussels were divine and the roasted beet salad was delightful.
4) For a drink and appetizer, I popped in to Lola and enjoyed their lamb meatballs with white beans. The al-dente beans were not my favorite, but the meatballs were delicious, with just a hint of the lamb flavor, which is not always my favorite.
5) After the brief Lola visit, I walked across the street to the Dahlia Lounge for a wine tasting dinner celebrating the wine of Mike Januik. I got to sit next to wine-maker himself, which was a treat, and the food was superb as well. The highlight was a piece of black cod in a fennel broth with carmelized fennel. Tom Douglas was gracious and told us all about his "Iron Chef" victory. I was also sat with folks who work at the Pike and Western wine shop, and they were as friendly as can be. I ventured there the next morning to buy some of the Januik wines I had enjoyed.
6) I spent my final evening at Restaurant Zoe. I loved this place. Great atmosphere and spirit. Once again, they were kind (Tom the manager) to fit me in at the end of the bar. The sweetbread appetizer was outstanding as was the potato and leek soup and the alaskan sea scallops. I wanted more of each dish.
I look forward to my next visit when I would like to try Union, Brasa, and the Palace Kitchen.
Thank you again for a wonderful visit.