Sparkling wine – Hog Island Oyster Bar

Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine Hog Island Oyster Bar

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blanc Brut, Napa, 2006. $8 per glass
Hog Island Oyster Bar, San Francisco

I love weekend brunch at the San Francisco Ferry Building. I know that it’s super touristy but there’s a lot of great food there too. You just have to ignore the crowds and enjoy the food. On a bright, sunny day it’s hard not to enjoy yourself.

Had a light brunch here with Silverfox. We really only had this sparkling wine, bread and oysters but that seemed to satisfy us! I’ve always liked Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine. I’ve been to their Napa winery a couple times and it’s absolutely beautiful. Their sparkling wines are reasonable priced and are delicious!

Bread Hog Island Oyster Bar

Bread and butter. Complimentary. This was yummy!

Cocktails – Zuni Cafe

Finally made it to Zuni Cafe for Sunday brunch. I’ve been here before but only for a quick meal. We had reservations for when they opened and there was a line outside when we arrived. I think people who didn’t have reservations decided to come early to see if they could get a table. We were seated upstair at a table for 2 in the corner. I loved it! We were next to the window and there was some privacy where we were. The table next to us wasn’t even seated until near the end of our meal, score!

The service, of course, was great and the food was absolutely amazing! We had to have mimosas and a few other cocktail, lol!
Zuni Cafe, San Francisco

Balsamic bloody Mary Zuni Cafe

Balsamic bloody Mary with spicy pepper-onion relish. $11.50
You’ll never see me ordering a bloody Mary, but Silverfox had this and it was VERY tasty. I actually really liked it and would order it for myself next time. It had a great kick and the balsamic vinegar gave it a great flavor. Noms!

Aperol cocktail Zuni Cafe

Aperol cocktail. $10.75
Aperol is an orange flavored Italian apertif. Not sure what else they put in the cocktail, but it was super tasty!

Mimosas Zuni Cafe

Mimosas. $8 each
A Sunday brunch standard. These were a lot nicer than the ones I usually get for Sunday Funday bottomless mimosas. They must use real orange juice in these and better quality champagne.

Chocolate fondant – Bisou

Project 365: Day 18

Happy birthday to me! Had a great gym workout in the morning then went to Bisou for a birthday brunch with Silverfox, T-Head and RSL. Apparently they told the waiter that it was my birthday so they brought out this cake at the end of the meal and sang Happy Birthday REALLY loudly, lol! I was actually surprised and kind of embarrassed (in a good way).

That place was rocking despite the very wet weather. There was another large birthday party in there. We had reservations but the people around us were quoted a 1.5 hour wait, geez! Bisou is quite the popular brunch place. I guess everybody loves bottomless mimosas!

Afterward, we went and had drinks at The Lookout, then we met more friends at Badlands followed by Toad Hall. It was a great birthday and a lot of my friends came out to celebrate. I drank plenty but I’m happy to say that I didn’t have a hang over! Perhaps the after-bar meal at La Zapata helped out, hehe.

Chocolate fondant Bisou

Rich souffle-like chocolate cake with a molten chocolate center. Served with vanilla ice cream. $8
Bisou, San Francisco

This chocolate fondant was delicious! Maybe things taste better when it’s your birthday. It was so warm and rich and the perfect with the vanilla ice cream. Thanks guys for a great birthday brunch! Too bad the 49’ers lost their game for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. 😦

Bottomless mimosa Bisou

Bottomless mimosa. $10

Japanese deer tartare – Benu

Project 365: Day 17

Had a busy day-before-my-birthday day! Woke up with my lovey, stayed in bed and randomly caught a Streetfighter movie on TV (Legend of Chun Li or something like that, lol), went to the gym, got my hair did, had lunch downtown, picked up my wool and seersucker blazers from the tailor, did computer stuff, then had an AMAZING birthday dinner at Benu!

The dinner had 17 courses and lasted 3.5 hours! That’s pretty good if you ask me. I once had a pre fixe dinner in the Jewel Box at Mistral Kitchen in Seattle that lasted almost 4 hours, too. I honestly LOVE long dinners. They’re super relaxing and the food is almost always spectacular at these nice establishments. I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s birthday dinner. The food was SO delicious and the service was impeccable. (Anybody want to hit up French Laundry next?)

Afterward went to the Castro for some drinks but I didn’t last very long. I was SO frickin’ full and could barely move.

Can’t wait for brunch with T-Head and RSL tomorrow, then getting trashed with even more friends at Badlands!

Japanese deer tartare Benu

Served with artichoke mayonnaise and walnut bread. Pre fixe dinner $180
Benu, San Francisco

When I saw this dish on the menu, I was very intrigued. I’ve had venison before, but never as a tartare. The deer had a surprisingly clean flavor. I expected it be very gamey, dark and tough, but it tasted pretty neutral. Most of the flavor from this dish came from the artichoke mayonnaise, walnut bread, and whatever the freeze dried crumbles were on the plate.

Japanese deer tartare Benu

All the plates duirng dinner were beautiful! They were small poritons, but after 17 courses I was stuffed. The plates looked simple at a glanced but they had a lot of different components.

I’ll post the rest of the dishes soon!

Walnut bread Benu

Walnut bread. Even the bread was fantastic!

Dom Perignon champagne 1993

Moet e Chandon a Epernay, Champagne, Cuvee Dom Perignon, 1993. $40 corkage
Silverfox had this bottle of champagne laying around and he decided to pop the cork for my birthday dinner, aww! That’s a good thing because Benu had bottles of Dom Perignon 1996 and 1995 for $750 and $957, respectively. Ouch! We got away with only paying corkage.

Dom Perignon champagne 1993

The boxed bottle of champagne is just asking to be opened!

Corey Lee signed menu

Menu signed by chef Corey Lee. This was a cute surprise at the end of the meal. We had menus at our table the entire time to keep up with what we were eating, but those were taken away at the end and replaced with a couple signed menus.

Hawaiian burger – Pinocchio In The Desert

Project 365: Day 10

I had a hard time sleeping last night, not sure why. I even had a nightmare where a snake tried biting me. Odd, huh?

Silverfox and I had a late brunch at one of our usual Palm Springs breakfast joints, Pinocchio In The Desert. Unfortunately, we were SO disappointed. Maybe it was the overcast weather, but everything at this place seemed off.  I’ve always known that you don’t really go to Pinocchio for the food, but the atmosphere is usually really fun so you don’t notice that the food isn’t all that great.

Today, we both noticed that the food was really crappy. That and the bottomless mimosas gave me a headache and knocked me out for the afternoon.

We did have a great dinner at Johannes though. You can read my diatribe about dark restaurants in my previous entry. I HATE DARK RESTAURANTS! So annoying.

Otherwise, had a lazy day. Did some clothes shopping and ran some errands. A nice vacay day if you ask me. Just wish the food had been better.

Hawaiian burger Pinocchio In The Desert

Half pound burger on a whole wheat bun, pineapple, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles, caramalized onions, swiss cheese and cole slaw. $10.95
Pinocchio In The Desert, Palm Springs CA

I guess this tasted ok, but how can you really go wrong with a burger drenched in teriyaki sauce with pineapples! Hawaiian burgers have always been a favorite of mine, but the beef patty on this burger was a bit of a throw away. Sad.

Bottomless mimosas

Bottomless champagne $3.95 per glass, orange juice carafe $3.95. This gave me a headache this time around.

Mimosas – Zazie

Mimosas Zazie

La Groseille mimosa with black currant (front). $8
Corsica mimosa with fresh grapefruit juice (back). $8
Zazie, San Francisco

It seems silly to pay $8 for a glass of champagne with some juice added, but the mimosas at Zazie are super yummy!  I really liked the La Groseille.  The black currant was SO refreshing!

Coffee Zazie

Zazie’s organic specialty coffee. $2.95