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Restaurants & Bars 6

I wasn't watching Trista, I was at Baywolf!

Ruth Lafler | Dec 11, 200304:40 PM

I wasn't sure I was going post on dinner at Baywolf last night, but with Melanie making libelous suppositions about where people who weren't curry diving were last night, I thought I might as well.

I wasn't going to post because Baywolf is such a reliable classic I'm not sure there's much to say.

Among the five of us we ordered all three duck dishes on the menu, and they were all stellar. I have to say, though, that the duck liver flan is in a class by itself, and I'm not usually a liver fan. It was also a generous enough portion that we didn't feel like we were imposing when we all snatched multiple tastes off my brother-in-law's plate.

My mom and I went for the Tagine of Cornish game hen with couscous. Neither of us usually orders poulty in restaurants (kinda boring), but this intrigued us, and we weren't disappointed. The quartered game hen was perfectly cooked and flavorful, especially the carmelized skin. The couscous was delicate and tender and delicious with the sauce of preserved lemon, olives and raisins, which was properly applied with a light hand so as not to overpower either the game hen or the couscous.

What really surprised me, however, was the desserts. I've had so many lately that didn't quite live up to their description or to the quality of the other courses, but the two I sampled were exemplary. I had the warm ginger cake with apple compote and creme anglaise. I was expecting this to be rather dense and heavy, but instead, the cake was moist and flavorful but also light. The apple compote was more like thin slices of stewed spiced apple, so again it added flavor without being heavy and gooey, and the creme anglaise was more of a foam. It was really perfect after a rich dinner. I also had a bite of my sister's persimmon pudding, which was so delicious I almost regretted not ordering it.

Service was friendly but professional. I particularly liked that after I requested just a tiny amount of the champagne we had with our starters (I'm not big on bubbly, but I didn't explain that to her) she remembered not to top up my glass without asking, and when she poured the burgundy for the main course she asked me whether and how much I wanted, and when I indicated a full serving, she then topped up that glass when she did the others. That kind of attention to detail is a mark of good service in my book.

Despite the fact that it's not trendy, even on a stormy Wednesday the restaurant was almost full, even the tables on the porch in front, which appeared surprisingly comfortable and well heated and sheltered from the elements.

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