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New Years dinner at Farrallon

Wendy Lai | Jan 3, 200401:19 PM

Dear hubby, three friends, and I celebrated NYE at Farrallon. We opted for 2nd seating. To our surprise the place was not packed, only about 2/3 full.
The advertisement stated there will be live music and dancing. Turns out the live music was great, but there wasn't really any room for dancing.

The menu was a set five course meal with a choice of dessert. If opted with wine pairing the cost was $250 a person, without the wine it's $150. Ususally in these type of mass produced set menu, the meal isn't as great as a la carte. BUT, we were pleasantly surprised at the meal we received at Farrallon.

The four savory courses were all superbly prepared, especially the seafood items. Here is what we had:
Amuse that was kind of like a grilled cheese toast, yummy but unimpressive.

Yellow fin tuna carpaccio with fennel and orange salad and caviar. The play between orange and fennel was an excellent refresher for the fatty tuna. This delicious starter was light and so delicious, we were eager to see what else was to come.

Next came lobster raviolis with seared dayboat scallop. I love any kind of raviolis, the fact that this was lobester only made it even more better. My only compliant was the ravioli was too skinny, they should have made the pockets of lobster fatter for a better mouth feel. The single seared scallop was excellent as well. Ususally I find scallops to be lacking in taste. But this one scallop that we got was so "scallopy" it changed my negative opinions of scallop in general.

Third course was roasted lobster with a broth and baby spinach. The best lobster I've ever had was at Frenchy Laundry. I've really never had great lobster in any other restaurant. Ususally, they are slightly chewy and not that great. But I think this Farrallon version was really quite good. The lobster was tender, not chewy, the flavors clean and light. There was a really good contrast between this course and the heavier treatment of lobster ravolis with cream sauce in the course preceeding this.

Our fourth savory course was grass-fed roasted tenderloin with a mushroom saute and what I called confit of potato. By this time in the night most of us was so stuffed, we can't really eat another bite. So I have to say my judgement is slightly off. I have to give kudos for the potato. It was a large chunk of russet golden and crispy on the outide, yet buttery tender on the inside. My dining mate and I was wondering how they got the inside to be so buttery? Turns out they cooked the half potato pieces with lots of butter. The whole thing is baked in the over until the outside is achieve that golden crust, while the inside soaks up the buttery goodness. I have to admit I liked the potato more than the beef! The beef was very well prepared as well, not overcooked (a bit undercooked for some at our table).

Dessert is a choice of apple crepe or mocha pudding cake. I had the crepe which pretty good, but nothing spectacular. I had a taste of the pudding cake, and found it entirely to rich and sweet, but that can be a postivie for other people I think.

This year NYE was more toned down for us than ususal. We nevertheless enjoyed our food and company. I'm looking forward to another year of chowhounding.

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