San Francisco, 1760, Espresso Panna Cotta
Once you get past the fact that this is not going to be your traditional panna cotta and that it’s not going to be a traditional old-school, sweet, rich, dessert, you latch onto the chocolate espresso taste, the white chocolate, and oh, yeah, the perfectly executed, firm, panna cotta underneath it all. This works. The long lingering espresso chocolate aftertaste hangs around and compels you to write gushing prose like this between spoonfuls. Crunchy chocolate espresso soil. White chocolate granite. Firm, firm, panna cotta (finally a firm panna cotta for a change!). Salt: just under the radar. Bittersweet chocolate? Who’s the maker? A+ of course.
San Francisco, 1760, Strawberry and Cream Bavarian
Another Ricardo Mennicucci creation, and a darn good one at that. What’s great about this dessert is that each element is unique and enjoyable on its own. You don’t have to take some of each on every forkful. The basicl sponge cake is savory and sweet. The lemon basil gelato stands on its own. The white chocolate crunch brings the crunchy texture element and an instant reminder of, well duh, white chocolate. The strawberry bavarian is light, creamy, and just enough sweetness to interest the palate. Another new-age not-so-sweet dessert that works. Oh, if you take everything as one bite? There’s a lot going on. Top drawer.
San Francisco, 1760, Intermezzo
Intermezzo, yogurt ice cream, balsamic peach salad, tarragon. Tarragon on a dessert, let alone a dessert? Oh yea of little faith. It all works, and Ricardo Mennicucci is the creator! The salt is just slightly above the radar, the tarragon adds an accent to the most-excellent yogurt ice cream. Along the trend line of not-too-sweet desserts, I really, really like this one. I’ve ordered this multiple times and loved each one.
San Francisco, 1760, Tomme Dolce
Tomme Dolce. fig compote. bruleed figs. pine nut. shallot. chanterelle. This is an off-menu composed cheese plate using Andante Creamery’s Tomme Dolce and created by chef Matt Hanley. Honestly? This is the best composed cheese plate I have ever had. Lightning strikes twice. I had it a second time a few weeks later (it made it to the regular menu by then) and although it was slightly different, it was just as good.
The trend is towards composed cheese plates and this one runs with the best. Pine nut crackers? Oh yeah! You’re puttin’ chanterelles and shallots on a cheese plate? Are you kiddin’ me? News flash: it works! Textures. Salt. Fat. Sweet. This plates brings the B+ Andante to life. Eat these ingredients together as a single bite, and forget that it’s supposed to be a cheese course. Note to Gianpaulo: go off script and serve this with a sweet wine. This is not your father’s cheese plate.
San Francisco, 1760, BBQ Pork Belly
BBQ Pork Belly. corn porridge. peaches. charred frisee. I expected this to be stomach-sinker, but I was pleasantly surprised. The fat was at a very nice savory level. The peaches tender and the corn porridge had a nice subtle corn taste that was not in your face (not that I mind in your face corn flavors). Nice salt, nice smoke, nice heat. Oh, and did I mention that the pork is really, really tender? This dish passes the “sit at the table” test where you let it sit at the table, chat for a while, eat another dish and then come back to it. Low and behold it tastes even better after waiting.
San Francisco, 1760, Duck Egg
Duck egg. raviolo. chanterelle. ricotta. This is an off-menu dish (thanks Ben!) and is intended to be a play on ramen. It’s rich and perfectly seasoned. The pasta is (of course) al dente. It’s in a pork stock which is not too light, not too rich. The duck egg brings a unique fat to the plate. I’m looking forward to seeing this dish on the menu: A+.
San Francisco, 1760, Baby Artichokes
Baby artichokes. spiced pistachios. orange. basil. This is complex. There’s sweetness from the fruit and a bit of spice/heat from the pistachios in the form of a puree or humus. The orange is very clever because it’s so obvious and simple but it is dead on. The textures, the mouthfeel, heat, crunch, sweet, salt. It’s all there. Complex.
San Francisco, 1760, Lollipop Kale
Lollipop Kale. guanciale. red currant. ginger. I had this two weeks ago and this is even better. This time, there’s more acid, less fat, and lighter. There’s heat from the ginger. Very nice.
San Francisco, 1760, Burrata
Burrata. grilled bread. garbanzo beans. apricots. walnuts. Stellar. Fantastic balance of sugar, salt (which is just under the radar), fat, heat, acid. Tomatoes (Green Zebra variety), onion jam, pea shoots. Killin’ it!
San Francisco, 1760, Shashito Peppers
Shishito Peppers. castelvetrano olive. hazel nut. smoked sea salt. Nice. Not the usual level of heat from a Shishito pepper.