Pardon the punctuation...my 3 year anniversary dinner in San Francisco could not have gone any better than at "La Folie." Some of the best french food I've had state side in one of my favorite towns. I first heard of his place from a local who raved about the authentic french cuisine right around the corner from his house. Before I get started on what I had I have to make it clear that this place is by no means inexpensive. It's pretty friggin expensive but worth every penny. Chef Rolland Passot has been putting this amazing food together since 1988 and the place seems to only be getting better and more innovative. My wife and I went with the four course tasting menu for two and of course I brought an sweet bottle of Far Niente 2006 Cabernet which happens to be where I got engaged in Napa...what can I say, I'm a romantic. $40 for the corkage was a little on the high end but still better than paying restaurant price for a bottle of that caliber. Before I put you to sleep let me get to there food...there's a lot of it.
Amuse Bouche #1: Fresh tuna tartar on a lovely little spoon with a hint of citrus. After tasting this first bite we knew we were in for one of the best meals ever. Fresh Fresh Fresh.
Amuse Bouche #2: Squash soup on a poached egg with a little brioche toast for dipping. This could have been a meal all on it's own. Just perfectly prepared.
Amuse Bouche #3: Salmon lollipops with mascarpone and carrots. Wow, wow, wow...my favorite of the 3. I'm definitely going to try to make these at home. The only thing that drove me nuts was a table of Russians sitting across from us who didn't even look at their lollipops or taste them. They just ignored them and their waiter! Learn to make them and you'll be the hit of the party.
Brentwood Corn Soup: with Maine Lobster, Pickled Ramps, and Basil Oil. sweet with huge chunks of lobster. Normally I don't of corn soup as something I'd want to have all the time but this dish would make it to my "Death Row" meal....not that I'd ever be on "Death Row" but I'm sure you get the point. It's worth going there even if it's just for this dish.
Dungeness Crab Salad: on English Pea Panna Cotta, Yellow Curry Tuile, with a Curry Spiced Crab Vinaigrette. This was a solid dish. The flavors in the corn soup were so good that I didn't pay much attention to the crab salad. The crab was fresh though...like still swimming fresh.
Seared Day Boat Scallop and Sautéed Sweetbreads: with Wild Mushrooms, Almond Pistou, And Truffle Bacon Vinaigrette. It's not every day that I go and order a fried Thymus gland...in fact this was the first time I've ever had sweetbreads. Per my waiter Trey, Chef Passot has ruined sweetbreads for him...meaning he makes the best ever. So "Screw it!" I ordered them and oh am I happy I did. Tender and richly flavored is the best way to describe it. Also that truffle bacon vinaigrette was awesome. So awesome I'd pour it over pancakes if I could..extremely expensive pancakes. the scallop came perfectly prepared and sliced down the middle with a slice of fresh white truffle in between...like a little scallop truffle sandwich. Holy Shit this was amazing....add it to the "Death Row" meal.
Sautéed Burgundy Snails: in Pernod Lemon Butter, Parsley, and Bone Marrow Gratin. A presentation that belongs in a museum. Besides that the snails were prepared with expert execution. Not chewy at all the the bone marrow combined the flavors well.
Roasted Emigh Farm Lamb Chop: with Butter Beans, Fava Bean and Goat Cheese Puree, and Smoked Lamb Bacon. Medium rare and soooooooo juicy they'd fall off the bone. You could have eaten them like lamb chicken wings...they meat just fell off the bone. Also the smoked lamb bacon was one of the surprise hits of my little party. Just amazeballs.
Pan Seared Miyazaki Wagyu Rib Eye: Bearnaise Croquette, Bone Marrow Custard, and Truffle Madeira Sauce. Probably the most expensive dish I've ever ordered in my life and I swear to you that it was worth every penny and I would do it over and over again. The best piece of beef I've ever tasted. Japanese premium beef is back and ready for consumption. Marbled and melts in your mouth..literally. The bone marrow custard was sooo rich and brought out some of the fatty flavor in the rib eye. Also thanks to the kindness of the chef he shaved fresh black truffle all over my steak. It was orgasmic. I will be raving about this dish for years to come. Simply the the best.
Warm Edam Cheese Soufflé: with Fromage Blanc Sorbet, Crispy Bacon, and White Sesame Tuile. Per the recommendation of the waiter I went with this and wasn't disappointed. Another first for me was the edam cheese in a souffle and it worked. Also I'm starting to become a fan of bacon in desserts. It just brings out any sweetness on the plate.
Crème Fraiche Crème Brulee Torte: with Pistachio Almond Cake and Blackberry Ice Cream. Again just perfect execution and that pistachio almond cake can live on my kitchen table every day of the year. Aromatic and when mixed with the blackberry ice cream it rocked my world.
Okay so I spent a shit tom of money but I can honestly tell you that I wasn't heart broken when I saw the check. Instead I wanted to give the place a standing ovation for the rocking job they did. Everything was done with excellence and TLC. From the amazing waiter Trey who guided us on this journey to the Chef Roland who came out to speak with the tables and took the time to acknowledge his patrons. It was an honor to eat there and be able to share the experience with my "Foodions!"