Blackened trout – Alamo Square Seafood Grill

Blackened trout - Alamo Square Seafood Grill
With green peppercorn sauce (red wine reduction and green peppercorns), roasted brussels sprouts, vegetables, and rice. Daily 3-course prix fixe $14.50
Alamo Square Seafood Grill, San Francisco CA

I enjoyed the trout. It was a small, thin piece with not a lot of meat but it tasted good and was prepared well. I wasn’t a fan of the green peppercorn sauce though. The color was off-putting and I didn’t think that the sour taste did anything to elevate the trout.

Esperance bordeaux - Alamo Square Seafood Grill

Chateau Moulin de l’Esperance, bordeaux, 2009. Half off bottle $18.50

Esperance bordeaux - Alamo Square Seafood Grill

Artic char – Maven

Artic char - Maven
Fried brussels sprouts, white beans, red verjus, golden raisins, dill. Bloomspot 4-course chef’s tasting menu with cocktail pairings for two.
Maven, San Francisco CA

I love how crispy they fried the skin on the char. The brussels sprouts were delicious and the shallot(?) compote on top was also yummy. A successful dish.

Bitter Brother in Law cocktail - Maven

Bitter Brother in Law Cocktail: pisco, vermouth, elderflower, gentian, Peruvian bitters.
Why the bitter in-law gotta be latino?! 😉

Cascade Mountain arctic char – RN74

Cascade Mountain arctic char RN74

With sauteed pork belly, French green lentils, brussels sprouts, parsnip veloute. New Year four-course tasting menu $80
RN74, San Francisco

I think this was my least favorite dish of the evening. The arctic char was fine, I just forgot out oily of a fish it is. Also the pork belly was ALL fat, I expected it to have some meet on it. Oily fish plus a cube of pork fat really didn’t work for me. The other components were pretty good. I loved the lentils and the veggies were also tasty.

Unfortunate Helen Keller dinner – Johannes Restaurant

Johannes Restaurant, Palm Springs CA

Ok, the title of this blog entry is a little unfair, but I wanted to vent a little bit. I actually had a very good experience at Johannes. The service was excellent as was the food.

But I’m just gonna go out and say it – I hate super dark restaurants!

For me, part of an amazing dining experience is being able to actually see what I’m eating. For instance, my duck appetizer tasted great and I’m sure it looked amazing – BUT I COULDN’T SEE IT! I really wanted to see the amazing roasted duck against the dark lentils and the beautifully drizzled raspberry vinaigrette. BUT everything looked just like a dark lump. I tried positioning the candle to get better shots to no avail. What you see on this blog is WAY better than what I actually saw in person!

How does a dimly lit room improve my dining experience!? I can’t see my food. I can’t see my dining my guest. I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!!

This is becoming such a pet peeve for me that I’m tempted to decline my next reservation if I enter a restaurant and see that it’s lit like a Paleozoic cave! Just wait, I’m gonna do it! This is ridiculous!

So in conclusion, I enjoyed my dinner but it was a little overpriced considering that I couldn’t FULLY enjoy my meal.

Lillet blonde Johannes Restaurant

Lillet blonde. Over ice, orange zest. $9

Vodka martini Johannes Restaurant

Grey Goose vodka martini up with olives. $11

Pimm's cup Johannes Restaurant

Pimm’s cup, lemon juice, over ice. $9

Brussels sprouts salad Johannes Restaurant

Brussels sprouts salad (special). Lemon juice, olive oil, pecorino cheese and walnuts. $12
Very bright and refreshing. This was a simple salad that you can easily make at home. I think the hardest part would be leafing the brussels sprouts, probably very labor intensive.

Honey and soy glazed duck breast Johannes Restaurant

Honey and soy glazed duck breast. Sliced roasted duck breast, Beluga lentil salad, tiny greens and raspberry vinaigrette. $11
My favorite dish of the night. It was served cold and tasted amazing. I’m sure it was beautifully composed, but I really couldn’t see much of it. The dark duck on the dark lentils looked like a black blob in the restaurant. The flavor were great and the textures were fun.

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin Johannes Restaurant

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin. Glazed bosc pear, veal bacon, walnuts, orange, cranberries, broccolini, juniper merlot reduction. $29
The kangaroo didn’t taste as crazy as I thought it would. I guess the chef recommends it served medium rare, but this came out pretty rare. I wish I would have ordered it medium instead. It was very tender and the reduction tasted great. The bosc pear came out super hot and delicious, and I loved the mixed topping.

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack Johannes Restaurant

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack. White beans, zucchini, tomatoes, grilled green onions, triple Dijon mustard sauce. $36
Wow, you get a LOT of lamb – 6 ribs of it! This was very delicious and super tender. I wish the grilled green onions weren’t on the plate though. They seemed too clunky for an otherwise beautiful plate.

Bread and butter Johannes Restaurant

Baguette and pesto butter.

Risotto with chicken sausage, tomatoes, and roasted vegetables

Project 365: Day 5

I really should stop going out on a work night, ouch! Met Hubbs and Shumster out for drinks last night and of course all the usuals were out too. Needless to say, I stayed out later than I should have and ended up eating cheap, greasy Chinese take out. Not good. What is good is that Hubbs might join the Ireland trip, yay!

Risotto with chicken sausage

Arborio rice, organic chicken sausage, canned tomatoes, organic chicken broth, organic brussels sprouts, organic mushrooms, organic garlic, organic onions, organic butter, brillat savarin, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I love risotto because I can just whip it up and throw in any leftovers I need to get rid of. I had a package of chicken sausage that I had purchased on sale so I made this risotto that I will be eating the next couple of days for work lunches. It’s not very traditional but it tastes fickin’ good! I try to cook using all natural and organic ingredients when I can.

Yummy "dim" dinner – Range

We had an absolutely wonderful dinner at Range on Valencia Street in the Mission. The restaurant is dimly lit so I wasn’t able to take any good food pics, but I thought I’d post these anyway for posterity, hehe. We also had the creamed nettles with a poached farm egg for an appetizer, but that pic didn’t come out at all.  Enjoy!
Range, San Francisco

Pink Panther cocktail Range

Pink Panther cocktail – Tito’s vodka, pomegranate, tawny port, black pepper, lemon.
Yummy yummy cocktail and I loved the soft pink color!

Smoking Gun cocktail Range

Smoking Gun cocktail – Bulleit bourbon, maraschino, Dolin sweet vermouth, scotch rinse.
I didn’t like this cocktail as much.  I think the scotch rinse was too much for me.

Pan roasted bavette steak Range

Pan roasted bavette steak with horseradish, barley, brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms and baby turnips. $28
Yum!  I’m not a huge horseradish fan, but these were mild and tasted great with the perfectly cooked steak.  The brussels sprouts were yummy and the baby turnips were so frickin’ cute!

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder Range

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder with creamy hominy and braised greens. $25
Omg!  I’m hungry just recalling this dish!  The pork was so tender and juicy and the coffee rub gave it a great flavor.  The sauce was to die for and tasted SO good with the hominy and greens.  A definite winner dish!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011, 2014