was in sf over the weekend and had a great time.
we wondered around the haight and needed something light to gulp and chew pre-dinner. the only place with any crowd was magnolia - so we headed on in. we were seated and ordered the beet salad, german potato salad, and sweet potatoes. the beet salad was devine. mostly red beets - but a few golden beets thrown in. shaved fennel. an almost liquid style goat cheese drizzle around the plate. it was really quite good. i'm sort of 1/2 and 1/2 on fennel - not a total fan, but this was just fresh and bright and quite lovely. the german potato salad was like a trip home. my dad made this all the time growing up. it was halved (either fingerling or red - can't remmeber) potatoes, sauteed in butter, onion, and herbs. totally delicious. it was just light and savory and comforting. the sweet potatoes were served like a baked potato - split down the middle with a nice dollop of honey butter on top. these were delicious. soooo sweet - just like candy. beers - we had the lightest one which is only served in a 10 oz glass. this was really a delight. sweet and poppy with just a little bitter in the back. i also had the next lightest and it was solid. i can't remember the name.
perbacco - first of all, the staff were just really nice from the get go. and that made things perfect to start with. ok - so two pastas and i can't remember the exact ingredients: first was some kind of five hour pork that was delicious. it was really a dark stew and pasta. very good. the other was shortrib and horseradish. amazing. delicious. the steak was perfectly cooked and had an amazing blue cheese / butter topping. the cheese at this restaurant is amazing. had the cheese course and that was devine. there was a spicy goat-type cheese - chili pepper and vinegar marinaded soft cheese. the truffle brie (i think) was great. and teh other two were great too . . . but after all the wine, i'm not so clear on what it all was. it was just a really solid and nice meal. total for 4 - $259 (w/o tip). i can't say it's one of the best meals i've ever had, but on the whole it was lovely.
hog oyster co. stopped in here for a bowl of chowder and beer. while i finished it - i was not a fan. the broth seemed like boiled cream with a pat of butter and a little salt, a lot of pepper, and some herbs. then a whole lot of heavily peppered clams are plopped over the top. so, i had to de-shell each clam and then eat the soup. i know it's simple and they used high quality ingredients, but it just lacked depth or soul. it was just too simple. like i can boil a pint of cream too. it lacked a real clam flavor despite all the shells. and it lacked the thickness that i like with chowder. also - while they use bacon to flavor the broth which is nice, they left the flaccid flops of bacon in the soup. this is not appetizing. i only like crisp bacon and that can add flavor too - if you use the fat. this was just floppy fat in the soup. but - like i said, i ate it all and had a nice time sitting by the water. and $13 for a bowl of soup? not so much. glad i know - but i wouldn't go back. the oysters did look great though.
oh - and of course, went to the wharf. i know it's touristy - but i love it. got a crab salad sandwich at alitos and it was great. loads of crab and that's basically it. fresh and yum.
thanks for having such a great city!!! looking forward to next time. . .