Sunday, August 16, 2009

Breather - Greens - San Francisco

After a hectic culinary week in San Francisco, it was time for a last lunch. So many choices, so little time. Before heading off to a four-hour flight in a sardine tin, I needed some mellowing out. And in the Bay Area, Greens marries bliss with upstanding cuisine. One realizes the possibilities of a robust and creative vegetarian cuisine while relaxing at the edge of the Bay. Greens captures the ethical soul of near-fine dining. This is no veggie-shack, but green cuisine.

Greens - San Francisco - August 2009

Greens - San Francisco - August 2009

Having had a warm bath of calories the past week, I chose two cool and light plates. Both were generous – and humane – first courses. Grilled nectarines with fromage blanc, watercress, and Snyders sage honey was as tempting as any fruit salad that I have been served in, well, close to ever. It was summer sweet while the crunchy watercress added a slight peppery intrigue. Perhaps it could have been dessert given the honeyed depth, but for a small meal it was a fine starter.

Greens - San Francisco - Grilled Nectarines with Fromage Blanc, Watercress and Snyders Sage Honey

The second plate was ricotta corn cakes with jalapenos, scallions, cheddar and smoked cheese, served with crème fraise, fire roasted tomato and pumpkin seed cilantro salsa. The ingredient list on the menu makes the dish sound more pretentious than it was in person, but those allergic to pumpkin seeds and smoked cheese have been duly warned. These griddle cakes were a fine success, reminding us that (pace Michael Pollan) corn is not necessarily a four-letter word. These cobby-blinis were complex without being precious. Had I the stomach I could have eaten a baker’s dozen.

Greens - San Francisco - August 2009 - Ricotta Corn Cakes with Jalapenos, Scallions, Cheddar and Smoked Cheese, Served with Creme Fraiche, Tomato and Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Salsa

And so from the bustling calm of Fort Mason, I left with memories to consume on the (thankfully) foodless flight home.

Fort Mason, Building A
San Francisco

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