Tuesday, April 01, 2008
It was a beautiful evening yesterday, and after being reminded again of the precious moments of life by the death of a good friend's mother this weekend, I thought I should take Dad out somewhere special. A lot of times going out for somewhere special equates with heavy and indulgent, but I wanted the indulgent without the heavy, so we headed towards Greens in San Francisco.
Lingering for the view while the cool breezes blew was the first indulgence.
After we were seated comfortably inside, we started with a cup of the lentil soup with a roasted mustard seed garnish, which warmed us up and was heavenly. Lentil soup usually isn't thought of as 'light', but this was light and full of fresh flavors, including a touch of tamarind. It had some mild red peppers and what looked like quinoa in it among other things.
Dad kept commenting how the enchiladas were 'just right'! And he loved all the bright vegetables enclosed. Stuffed into the corn tortillas were butternut squash, sweet potatoes, grilled onions, poblano chilies, cheddar and salsa roja. On the side was tomatillo salsa, creme fraiche, Rancho Gordo beans and rainbow chard. No wonder he felt so good after finishing every last speck on his plate.
And I could hardly resist indulging in what was described as Mascarpone and Spring Onion Risotto Cake with griled asparagus, roasted carrots, turnips, meyer lemon cream and grana padano. This was beautiful to look at, and absolutely divine on the tongue. Tender vegetables gently immersed in the cream sauce almost had me begging for a spoon to enjoy every last drop (but I did resist that).
We continued on reading through the dessert menu with our sparkling fresh mint iced tea, and Dad chose an Apple Tarte Tatin with Buttermilk Ice Cream. I just had to try a bite of the ice cream since it seemed so novel. It was smooth and did have a slightly sour sweetness which would have contrasted nicely with the sweet apple tarte.
I chose the Walnut and Honey Torte with Lavender Ice Cream. I was afraid the nut and honey combination may be too sweet, like some pecan pies are, but it was perfectly balanced and the hint of lavender in the ice cream went very well. And after all this, I still felt so light I could have gone dancing! This place is highly recommendable if you would like to have a special dinner that includes a rainbow of colors and flavors.