I wanted to write an update while I have a minute, because I'm usually terrible about doing write-ups, especially when I've gotten advice from locals and owe thank yous. So far we've had both our S.F. lunches and two of our three S.F. dinners.
Dinner Sunday night was at Delfina. Liked the vibe a lot. We shared 4 dishes - 1) fresh stretched mozzarella with caponata, friarelli peppers, zucchini Napoletana; 2) fresh-cured anchovies with a little cucumber/radish salad; 3) rosemary tagliatelle and duck sugo; local halibut baked in a fig leaf with sweet corn and tarragon-caper butter. Loved loved loved the halibut - wow! Fabulous texture, almost creamy, with a wonderful sauce which to me had some Thai curry overtones. The dish I liked the least was the pasta - it was a bit less saucy than I would have liked although to the chef's credit the rosemary in the tagliatelle was very understated - rosemary can really overpower a dish and I was actually hesitant to order this dish but the server was recommending it highly. The accompaniements to the mozzarella were really great, probably the best caponata I've ever had. We didn't have dessert but we did have the cheese tasting of 5 cheeses with accompaniments, all very nice.
Of course we made a beeline for the Ferry Building on Monday and lunch was at The Slanted Door followed by a couple of chocolates from Recchuiti (sp?). Our Vietnamese food experiences have pretty much been limited to pho and bun, so while I don't know how "authentic" The Slanted Door is, I do know it was different that what we regularly eat at our local pho place in L.A. Liked the space a lot. Had vegetarian spring rolls, crispy skinny egg noodles with seafood (husband's choice, I don't love that kind of noodle, but sometimes he gets to choose what we eat), black cod with mushrooms (actually these really big white mushrooms that I can't remember the name of), and sweet corn with chanterelles. The dishes, with the exception of the spring rolls, were all a bit sweeter and/or oiler than I would like, but still we enjoyed them. The corn dish was downright sweet and tasted like the corn had been tossed in caramel...ultimately, too sugary for me, but interesting.
Dinner Monday night was Aziza. I had hoped to do the tasting menu but sadly I wasn't feeling very well, not well at all in fact. We ended up splitting 3 dishes - 1) goat cheese with a tomato-citrus sauce/relish and za'tar toasts; basteeya (wow wow wow!); couscous Aziza. Loved everything, seriously bummed that I couldn't taste more, we will definitely return to Aziza on our next trip up here. The couscous was incredibly addictive, loved the spicy merguez with it, the stewed lamb, the veggies - even the zucchini was superb and that's saying a lot! For dessert we had Santa Rosa plum sorbet which had a really creamy texture, almost like ice-cream but the server checked and no, it didn't have any dairy. We liked our cocktails too - husband had the one with tequila and amaretto, I had the one with gin and ginger. Our server was incredibly friendly and, more importantly, extremely knowledgeable. And the host was super nice - I actually messed up our reservation - had booked 7:30 on OT and somehow thought it was 8:00 even though they'd call to confirm - I was so spaced out from not feeling well. Everything was handled with aplomb when we arrived at 8:00.
Lunch today - of course we went back to the Ferry Building. We cruised the farm stands outside, took lots of photos and sampled some great fruit, and then went inside and got a small sourdough from Acme, a couple of cheeses from Cowgirl, some sopressata and coppa from the place with the great meat counter (name escapes me). Everything was fabulous. Dessert was from Miette - I had a chocolate pot de creme and I got to keep the little glass jar it came in! Husband had a mini Scharffen Berger cake, kind of half-domed with a thick ganache on it.
We're off to meet some frieds at Zuni tonight and I'm so excited. I think we'll stop tomorrow morning at Tartine on our way out of town, heading to the culinary wasteland of South Lake Tahoe.
So thanks all you S.F. hounds for the great advice. You have a wonderful eating city.