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Sociale - You missed a beautiful night

babyfork | Apr 10, 200312:55 PM

Where was everybody last night? I thought that the beautiful warm weather in SF last night would bring people out in droves to enjoy the lovely little patio at Sociale. Our friendly waiters blamed it on tax time - one guy had already been sent home that night due to the lack of customers.

We discovered Sociale in early December. I had been sitting on a gift certificate for over a year (thanks 5th graders!) because I usually don't have urges to go to Italian restaurants. Living the first two-thirds of my life in New Jersey I've had enough Italian to last me a good long time. Anyway, my husband and I finally went and had a WONDERFUL time. Our waiter that night was really nice (turns out he was from near my hometown in Jersey). The place was snug and cute. My meal was outstanding. I almost never order pasta, but I got some ravioli in a mushroom walnut cream sauce. It was insane and went marvelously well with the champagne we were having (hey, it was on the kids). We totally dug the "can't each just one" fried olives on a bed of greens with a yummy shallot vinegarette. My husband's meal was really good and so was the dessert, although I can't recall what they were now. That was December and we sat inside.

Last night we enjoyed the daylight savings time on the patio. We had the fried olives again - how could we resist? I think my husband inhaled his share. Then there was the special salad of the day. As the waiter said when he brought it, "It's too pretty for this place." And it did look like something from the cover of Gourmet. A light fresh combo of shrimp, carrot shavings, ramps, cherry tomatoes and other stuff enclosed in a circlet of "long-way" sliced cucumbers. Topped with the pretty and edible flowers of the ramp plant (they were nice - kind of like eating onion grass when I was a kid. My brother also used to make me eat tiger lilies so maybe I'm predisposed toward liking the edible flowers). We also got the artichoke-potato soup which was not heavy at all and quite yummy. It had some nice herb in there that I couldn't quite place. Not quite tarragon and not quite fennel, but something like a hint of anise. I don't know, but it was a nice soup. Mr. had the wild boar ravioli and they were good; nothing amazing, but good. I had the petrale sole over a bed of parsnip puree with braised baby artichokes in a lemon beurre blanc sauce. The sole was lightly breaded. The artichokes were awesome. All in all it was a nice dish.

No dessert and we were off for a stroll in the beautiful weather in the beautiful neighborhood past all the huge houses with the perfect spring landscaping (one place even had a topiary Easter bunny among all the gorgeous daffodils and pink tulips). So, where were you?

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