We spent the Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco, one of our favorite cities! We celebrated graduation (and finally having some time together) at Restaurant Gary Danko. We arrived just on time for our reservations and were seated at a lovely corner table. The décor is eclectic; the somewhat dark room is accented with bright splashes of color provided by ornaments such as vases and glass lighting fixtures. We were getting familiar with the menu when the waiter came over and greeted us. The menu allows for endless combinations and variety. They offer a 3 course, 4 course, or 5 course dinner which can be made up of dishes from any category; appetizers, fish and seafood, meat and game birds, and dessert. Each of the categories has about eight options. The waiter explained that the dishes are sized based on what we ordered. We enjoyed the variety and options that this offered! We settled on the three course menu and opted to have these paired with wine. This allowed us to try several dishes on the menu!
1) Risotto with Lobster, Rock Shrimp, Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms and Stinging Nettles
2) Roasted Loin of Bison with King Trumpet Mushrooms, Glazed Cipollini Onions and Herb Spatzle
3) Cheese plate (which we shared)
1) Burgundy Escargot with Baby Artichokes, Fava Beans and Nettle Brioche
2) Herb-crusted Loin of Lamb with Israeli couscous, English peas, Spring Onions and Artichokes and Mint
3) Chocolate soufflé with two sauces (which we shared)
The dishes were all beautifully prepared and presented! The risotto was delicious and creamy, with lots of lovely rich lobster! The escargot were a great treat, especially since they were served out of their shell which allowed for maximum enjoyment! The burgundy sauce was rich and elegant and the fava beans and nettle brioche provided a nice sweetness to the dish.
The bison was perfectly prepared and quite simple. The simple preparation showcased the beauty of the meat itself. The spatzle and the mushrooms perfectly rounded out the dish with an earthiness. The lamb loin too was delicious and perfectly prepared! The peas and cous cous added a nice lightness to the hearty meat.
The cheese plate was quite a treat as the waiter brought over a cart of maybe about 20 cheeses to choose from! He described all of them and we chose four. For dessert we shared the chocolate soufflé which was beautifully presented with the two sauces poured in the center of the soufflé at the table. It was superb! Delicate, airy and light! Soufflé is an elegant traditional French dessert which is not often considered an ‘old school’ dessert but it is delicious and I appreciate that some restaurants are revisiting this classic.
I can’t remember the specific wine pairings which were offered but overall, the wine pairings were very nice and complimented the food well. However, none of the wines were particularly memorable.
The food was all beautiful and well prepared! The dishes were all traditional preparations and classic combinations! None of the dishes challenged the palette or tested the senses. The service too was wonderful and unpretentious. We were well looked after the entire evening. Restaurant Gary Danko is a wonderful restaurant to celebrate a special occasion and have a fabulously prepared, classic meal!
Restaurant Gary Danko
800 N. Point St
San Francisco, CA 9410