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Thursday, August 27, 2009

AN ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL LAST DAY AND EVENING TO REMEMBER!

My last day in San Francisco (for this month anyway...)
Seriously it will be awhile until I return this time, because I have places to go for the next three months, (which of course I will write about), so San Francisco, more than likely will not be visited again until the new year....
This makes today, my last day here, somewhat bittersweet....
What a day and evening it has been though!!!!!!!!

I stayed up a bit late last night writing this blog, so when my wake up call came at 9:30am, I simply COULD NOT drag myself out of bed (could have something to do with my being up around 34 hours straight on Monday, don't know....)
I woke up finally at around 1100am, and had just enough time to get ready for the play that I was seeing this afternoon....
I called the concierge, and she honored my request to pick up my new necklace that was being re- sized for me a couple of blocks over...She insisted on going herself, as she had never actually seen this wonderful jewelry shop, even though she had suggested it, but only heard of it...She was excited to go...(Maybe she just wanted to be able to leave the hotel...not sure...All I know is that she was going to pick up my necklace for me, and I was happy....)
She showed up at my door with the necklace, and I tipped her, and asked if she had taken a look, and she said that she "hadn't dared to" so I invited her in to see it...She gasped...I gasped...
We both decided that it was the perfect necklace that could be worn anywhere....Jeans or velvet, it was a go....That was the selling point to me as well, as I have no patience for having to wait for an "occasion" to be able to wear a wonderful piece of jewelry, and simply refuse to....I like to wear whatever piece I want when I am in the mood to do so...One of life's many pleasures....

The play, "August, The Osgage", was outstanding...The theater was PACKED....The set was simple and appropriate...The place itself is being touted as the best "modern day Tennessee Williams type of piece" known in these times...The reviews don't lie....Along with the writing, the cast is dynamic...It is a HIT! I feel so lucky to be amongst the first to see it straight off Broadway and it's Tony Winning Award Status....The dialogue is "raw" sometimes...There are two 10 minute breaks...The play is 3 1/2 hours long...On both breaks, I hear some of the people around my parents age stating, "I didn't hear that kind of language in the Service!", or "I don't even KNOW people that speak that way!"....Well, I certainly didn't hear anything new, or even anything that I've never said before, (sorry Mom and Daddy), so it was not at all shocking to me...This is a play that I must make absolute sure that my sister sees when it comes to Dallas this January...My friend David as well...They will both LOVE it....

I took a MUCH needed nap when I got back from the Theater and had one of the worst dreams that I have ever had...The characters in the dream were all members of my family, and it was one of those dreams that you don't realize is a dream, and it was horrifying....I'm sure that it had something to do with the play, as it was a seriously DARK DARK comedy....

Thank heavens I had called and amended my dinner reservation for 9 PM, because the concierge forgot and did the wake up call a bit late, still I made it to dinner a bit ahead of time...
Tonight, my pick for dinner was a place that was called "GLOBE".... (Of course, I had never been there, as I think that I shared with you earlier, that it is always my plan to visit new places....The exception to this will be in Boston this Fall, where I WILL visit new places, but two of my very favorite places are there, so of course I must revisit them....)

As usual, I do a lot of research before spending the time, money, and calories at an establishment....I was happy that I had not eaten all day...When you have dinner and drinks at 9 PM, it's just a happier situation from the start!
The cabbie let me out on the corner from this establishment, and honestly, it looked a bit "divey" from the onset, but as that never stops me, I soared into the place...
Inside it was more what I would term, "comfortable" and "cool vibed" (if that is even still understood in this day and age...)
For the most part, the walls were rather stark, the restaurant was small and dark (LOVE DARK), and the tables and booths very comfy....The very, very small kitchen was half visible in the back, and that is where I was seated. I had specifically asked NOT to be put in what I like to term a "Manhattan" table, which is backed up to the wall, right NEXT (as though you are having dinner with them), another table...Surprisingly, my message was read, and reiterated, and I had my very own table right near the kitchen, where I could spy the chefs expressions while they worked...(I liked that...of course it did not hurt that the "main" chef looked like Kurt Cobain...not sure about that spelling, btw....)....
I ordered a house specialty cocktail (something with vodka, lemon, mint, etc)...good, but next visit I will order a glass of wine, as it would go much better with the cuisine....
The menu was small...Only a few dishes in each category, but it looked extremely promising...

For Appetizers:

Mariquita Farms wild arugula with baby beets and ricotta salata
Gazpacho with dungeness crab, avocado, cucumber and sweet tomatoes
Salad lardon: frisee with warm bacon vinaigrette and poached chick eggs
Tuna tartare with genovese basil and black olive tapenade
Blistered padron peppers and cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella
Rabbit rillettes with pickles, grain mustard and brioches roll
Mixed heirloom tomatoes with dry cured olives, cucumbers, Genovese basil and feta
PT. Reyes oysters (Tomales Bay)
Soup of the day

Average price appetizers was around $12 (except for the oysters)

Here were the sides....($7.00 each)

Creamy corn with marjoram
Macaroni and Tillamook cheese
Romano beans with bacon
Beets with lemon and basil

Entrees....

Braised lamb shank with potato risotto and sweet 100 tomatoes
Homemade spaghetti with roasted tomatoes, basil and garlic
King salmon on boccacino pasta with rapini, aglio e olio and salsa verde
Local halibut with Capay Organic zucchini and heirloom tomato fondue
Grilled Meyer Ranch bone-in ribeye with grilled onions and potato gratin for two
Potato gnocchi with chanterelles, bacon and chives
Quail over baby leeks, pancetta and black mission figs
Spicy monkfish stew with clams, mussels, habeneros and chili fish broth

The most expensive entree was the steak for two which was $26!

Pizza

Green tomatoes and fontina cheese
Wild mushroom and black truffle oil
Sopressata with egg sunnyside up
Fennel sausage and onions greens

Pizzas were $16

What a great priced restaurant, eh?

I have a decided weakness for Salad Lardon, having the best I have ever had at a restaurant by the name of "Hammersley's Bistro" in Boston (had dinner twice while I was there!), and so I decided to see what "Globe" could do with it....

Expertise and Quality Ingredients, plus possibly a trip or two to France is all I've gotta say....
The Frisee was mounded in the center of the shallow bowl, dressed with an almost "too tart" vinagrette, (though I loved it, some would wince a bit), and scattered nice cubed and fried pieces of lardon were on top, and on EACH side (there's usually only ONE), were TWO FRESH CHICK EGGS (you can SO tell the difference), that were lightly and PERFECTLY poached....
A real contender for BEST SALAD LARDON ( right up there with the infamous Hammersley's)
I made sure that the message got to the chef....

For an entree, I chose the homemade light and fluffy potato gnocchi....
Swimming in a light but extremely flavorful sauce with a generous amount of delicious chanterelles, with just the right touch of bacon and chives....
Someone in the kitchen knows EXACTLY what they're doing...GNOCCHI this light is a masterpiece to be able to pull off....Couple that with one of the most flavorful and light sauces on pasta that I have ever encountered, and you've got yourself something to talk about...
So here I am doing just that....

It would simply not be right of me to leave out dessert, as it was another big-time WINNER....
First I will share the dessert menu with you, though....

Warm pluot crostata, plum jam creme chantilly
Flourless chocolate mousse bar pistachio crunch
Elderberry brulee, chocolate fudge cake and almond phyllo
Peach gateau, maple-almond ice cream

All desserts were $8

Needless to say, EVERYTHING, including the ice cream, is made in-house....

I chose the elderberry brulee, chocolate fudge cake and almond phyllo.....

The dessert consisted of a square dense base of chocolate fudge cake, topped with the most delightful square, thicker than the cake, of FROZEN Creme Brulee, mixed with Almond Phyllo...Around the cake was a drizzle of elderberry sauce.....
The dessert could certainly be shared, but not too much for one...(or not for THIS one...), and was amazing...I have never had anything like it...It was light but OH SO DELICIOUS! Every bite was an epiphany!
I told the restaurant that I would not only be back, and tell everyone that I knew about it, but would also feature it in my blog....The hostess wanted the address of my blog...So....Here is my review...Hope that I did the restaurant justice....Also, lest I forget, I must make mention of the graciousness of the restaurant personnel....This makes for an even nicer experience...

I will say, that this particular trip has been a most foodie inspiring one...My last trip here a month ago was interesting as well, but this visit was certainly one that was worth writing about...I have decided to start featuring restaurant reviews in my blog when I visit places that are worth mentioning...You can be sure that it will mean most anytime that I am out of town, but it might also include some dining experiences that I have in my own city as well.....

This, as most of my solo trips, has been very interesting and rewarding in so many ways....I ended the night, before I REALLY ended it (which is when I write this blog), by having a "nightcap" at my hotel bar...Lovely space....The bar, of course, is all part of the hotel...If it's not wonderful, I probably won't stay there....
I sat at the bar, and two seats down from me, sat a man dining on what I had the night that I arrived, their wonderful burger and pomme frites....
After a few minutes, I asked the man if he enjoyed the pomme frites, as much as I had...There began a very, very long and interesting conversation with one of the more intriguing individuals that I have met for a very long time (and I meet A LOT of interesting people on my Solo Trips)...I will not go into detail, but let us just conclude that we talked of many interesting things and laughed and mutually enjoyed our conversation ...This man is very successful...A producer, director, and writer, as it turns out, of "America's Most Wanted", and previously a Stand-Up Comic, and still writes for some of the most successful comedy shows on television...He is here shooting a piece, (actually sounds interesting, though I confessed that I don't like "America's Most Wanted", because it freaks me out...Same reason that I don't watch the local news)...
They are shooting in Berkley....We have a lot in common....We talked a lot about hospitals...His young son died in one a few years ago....We talked about writing and performing comedy...We compared notes on hotels and restaurants in San Francisco, Manhattan, Santa Fe, Washington DC, (where he lives), Boston, and other places....He had MANY questions for me....(Who knew I was interesting enough for one to ask so many questions about?...Hmmm....Did I convince you for just a second that I don't think that I am?....Sucker!....Just kidding...Couldn't help myself, as usual...)

If you are wondering, he was age appropriate, highly intelligent, nice looking, very successful, kind, extremely interesting, and MARRIED to a wonderful woman who works as a producer for Lifetime television....YES....As I have said before......All the good ones....(and I'll let you finish that sentence....)
Still, I LOVE meeting these intruiguing people from all walks of life...It has simply become my absolute JOY to travel and experience these things....
I feel SO lucky to be able to do so....
This part of my life is turning out better than I could have ever hoped!
Hope you enjoy this post.....
Later.........

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