Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In San Francisco last weekend meeting friends, we stopped in at the South Market wine bar and restaurant Bacar for a quick meal. I have been there once, and remember it being a nice meal with an excellent wine list, but I do not remember being of this caliber. This meal was the best meal I have had in a long time. Interesting choices, well prepared and cooked meats, top class service and consideration...I was really floored by the experience.
We started with a beautiful bottle of 2004 pinot noir from hope & grace vineyards, it was great. Full bodied for a pinot, deep and delicious but not overpowering in the company of chicken and fish. Love the balloon glasses, I could drink diet coke or coffee out of these daily.
Because you never see this rustic and earthy item on a menu in California (I never have, as a dish unto itself anyway) I HAD to order the bone marrow. It was delectable, silky and luscious...a treat after all the walking of the past two days. I spread it on the wheat bread crostini it came with and it was perfect with sprgs of parsley to add a touch of grassy green flavor.
My constant dining and sleeping companion ordered the "warm mushroom salad", which was a misnomer. It was really a frisee au lardons, with warm wild mushrooms and butter lettuce added to the frisee. It looked gorgeous, and he swears it was yumminess. Two pics, one for the presentation and one for the good bits at the bottom!
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For mains, I ordered the oven-roasted chicken and he ordered the salmon. Both were exceptional. The chicken was perfectly cooked, juicy with crisp skin served over a genius bed of chicken livers, warm green grapes, slivered green beans and candied walnuts with a reduced chicken jus...and along the side of the plate was a pureed sauce of walnuts and bread, soft an subtle flavor, warm homey texture. I would fly back to SF just for this dish. Why do I love chicken so? It tastes....just like chicken.
The salmon seemed well paired if not well cooked. Not well cooked for a barbarian, anyway. My companion cannot eat any meat that is not cooked within an inch of charcoal So he sent back the lovely slightly pink salmon so they could scorch it to his liking. It came back served over lovely little fingerling potatoes and honeydew melon. I love the idea of pairing the salmon with the honeydew..sweetness and light with that unique flavor and fatty texture of salmon. Nice. I didn't taste it because I don't always want to share food. Usually because I order what I want to eat. I see no reason to share. Unless yours looks better than mine.
Last but not least was the cheese course (for me) and the chocolate "looks like a gooey pile of sugary junk from Ralph's" dessert for him. I never understand this type of dessert. If I want chocolate, I want something simple like a chocolate mousse or chocolat pot de creme. Whatevs! My cheese was great, some kind of tomato rubbed pecorino.