After sipping incredible gin (gincredible?) cocktails at Coqueta, and sipping in the sight of San Francisco from the top of the Marriott, we embody our dream of food.
We arrive at State Bird Provisions and tell the hostess Lindsey is in the restaurant business. Hostess says, “so you like insanity”. The wait is two hours. So we walk down the street. No satisfactory for cocktails and apps without a wait, so we take a Lyft (instead of an Uber) to Farallon. A sumptuous booth by the door. A charm of French ladies at the bar. Farallon is curved like the blown glass man-of-war chandeliers, like a cavern in a dream, an imagined future, a stately pleasure dome.
Foie gras. Ceviche. Oysters. Littleneck clams that take me back to Greenport in the Hamilton’s back yard. Deep red, nearly plum colored cocktail sauce. We don’t order the caviar.
A taxi (instead of a Lyft) back to State Bird Provisions. A wait in a tiny area where we are served from a bottle of Chenin Blanc. Lindsey’s chef radar goes off and she gives him a bubbly nod and hello as he passes by.
And then we get our table. Our wry and quick-witted server asks about food allergies, returns with a menu showing which foods have corn, marks it on our funky version of a dim sum card. In the end, our card showed evidence of the following dishes:
1. Squash mochi wearing some goddam brussell sprout capes, in a goddam grated black truffle, and maitake mushroom. The golden path of chewiness resists your teeth until you gently cleave off a bite.
2. Oyster with kohlrabi kraut and sesame – the kraut won.
3. Guinea hen, dumplings with some goddam broth. This dish alone is a restaurant for a thousand years – the broth alone is a restaurant.
4. Roasted baby beats and tonnato sauce. This sauce tastes like a super savory sour cream. Turns out, it is usually made with not only tuna and the water from the can, but anchovies, mayo, and capers. Hello umami.
5. Sourdough, pecorino, ricotta pancake.
6. Potato croquettes with fondue, and goddam smoked ham. The ham potent, the potatoes simple and texturally perfect, the fondue distributed conservatively, because if it wasn’t our souls would leave our bodies immediately or we would tear apart the chefs like deranged cheese zombies, thinking that they contained more of that goddam cheese ichor.
7. Hamachi crudo with carrot ponzu radish and shisho. Pure.
8. Beef meatball with tomato sauce. I wanted to cry and still want to cry about this dish, but there is no reason to cry, having eaten one of these meatballs and transforming the memory of past meatballs, the memory of all meatballs into the ideal form of the meatball. The meatball with tomato sauce.