I just realized I had never posted on one of the best meals of my life, a Bon Voyage dinner my friends took me to at Gary Danko in San Francisco.
Having inside connections make all the difference. Drea knew the GM of the restaurant and was able to get us 7:30 Friday night reservations a week in advance.
We had a slightly slow start- our table wasn't ready and our server took his sweet time introducing himself. However, once another server took over things started to look up.
She greeted us and told us that complimentary glasses of rose champagne were coming. Thank you Drea! Even though the GM wasn't in-house that night, he made sure we were well taken care of. Instead of one amuse bouche (cold tomato soup with ginger?), we got two- blini with salmon, creme fraiche, caviar....mmmm...I've never been told by a server to hurry up and eat my starter, but she was so sweet and told us to swallow our Chinese spoon of soup so that we could have another treat from the kitchen!
Sipping our champagne like movie stars, we perused the wine list, trying to decide what to get. The sommelier came and we decided on a Gewurztraminer. Goodness, this wine was so smooth and so buttery, perfect with the heavy meal coming up: Muller-Catoir, Haardter Begergarten, Trocken, Pfalz 2003. Again, Drea was such a good friend that she tracked down another bottle and gave it to me a few days later.
I decided on the 4 course:
- Risotto with Lobster, Rock Shrimp, Maitake Mushrooms, Tomato, Fennel and Tomato Oil: perfectly done rice, nice chunks of poached lobster, huge portion considering this was supposed to be my starter
- Lemon Herb Duck Breast with Duck Hash and Brandied Cherries: the hash was nice and salty, balanced out by the sweetness of the cherries
- A Selection of Farmhouse and Artisanal Cheeses Presented Tableside: so hard to choose when wedges upon wedges of cheese are displayed so beautifully in front of you! I forgot to note what I selected, but they were all good, especially the goat. I would take a cheese platter over dessert almost any day.
- Earl Grey Chocolate Tart and Golden Tea Poached Peach with Three Preparations of Tea: not quite my thing, there were too many different concepts on one plate
My friends, being of such noble constitution, allowed me to sample their selections:
- Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Red Onions and Bing Cherries: easily the best foie gras I've ever had, perfectly seared and melt-in-your-mouth good
- Glazed Oysters with Osetra Caviar, Zucchini Pearls and Lettuce Cream
- Roast Maine Lobster with Chanterelles, White Corn and Tarragon
- Baked Chocolate Soufflé with Two Sauces
A nice decaf topped off the night to counteract the effects of the wine and the champagne. And then a tray of petits fours appeared out of nowhere! With Bon Voyage written in chocolate sauce and a candle. I can't tell you what I wished for, but I CAN tell you that I immediately popped the tiny pink macaron into my mouth before anyone else could claim it
To continue the pampering, they gave us each a gold-foil wrapped chocolate & cream cheese cake to take home for breakfast the next morning:
Gary Danko rocks my world.
800 North Point (at Hyde Street)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel. (415) 749-2060
Open dinner everyday