Thanks all fellow chowhounders for making our visit attractive. We would also especially thank mr Michael Talty and mr Daniel Schoenfeld, two scions of the wine industry that went way and beyond their duty to make us feel welcome and enjoy their delicious wines!!!
Our review starts with the Leatherneck Grill, located in the Marines Memorial Club.
Even if I am an officer and we both love historical places, we must say that this restaurant only gains 3+ out of five. It serves food and steaks like grandma does. When she is in a good mood it is fairly enjoyable,if she is not then it is overcooked. You get what You pay for and a lovely view. The scottish-russian-american maitre'd is a very jolly fellow as is Patty, our server. No complaints there. Reasonable prices but food is not memorable.
Our next meal was at Mayes Oyster house. That is basically a dark bar on Polk without any ambience and with customers, some slightly odd in their customs. They had very fresh oysters on their very long happy hour but the rest of the meal, comsisting of gumbo, chowder and fisch and chips was ordinary pub grub. We would rather have the ambience of waterbar for our oysters and the rest You may get anywhere.
Our third meal was at Tadich grill. Boy did we have expectations. We went there in good time, put us on the list, brought a couple of friends and- received fresh oysters, nothing wrong there, Oysters Rockefeller, oyster trio and dungeness crab stew. Why did all the last dishes taste the same? Cheese, flour and spinach? With a touch of shellfish. Nobody of us finished the Dungeness stew. I had a 16 ounce porterhouse steak for USD 24! A steal, I thought. Coming out rare as ordered. But completely grey on the outside and tasting, basically nothing. And tough, too. So, a bellyful of food but nothing memorable at all. Basically a diner with grandma's food again.
Can this unhappiness last? Oh no! Next meal was at Canteen, a lovely little place with charming staff, excellent, fresh-tasting, innovative food and great value. We had a fixed menu of sweetcorn soup w harissa, black cod and potatoes and a rhubarb pudding. Every single thing perfectly executed and with considerable charm. A big thumbs-up and reasonable price, USD 46.
And as the grand finale-Acquerello. What can we say? We were simply overwhelmed. By the bill (USD 445 for two including classical tasting menu and wine package), the greetings, the ambience, the food, the wine, the service which was INCREDIBLY knowledgeable and kind, and to to pi all, they even gave us the recipes for the two dishes we enjoyed the most (They were ALL tremendoulsy delicious).
Even if we have to live on beans for a month we would go back to Acquerello. Thank You ever so muck all owner, family and staff for giving us a gastronomical experience that ranks among the top 5 ever, and I am 50 years old!