Acquerello, San Francisco, 3/10/18

exterior
exterior in daylight

Acquerello is a two star Michelin restaurant in a medium sized room that was an old church.  The high ceiling is lined with beams etched in gold and the walls have no windows just modern art. Lighting is subdued with spots for each table.  Floor length tablecloths and lots of flowers add to the elegant ambiance that still requires men to wear jackets.   Attention to detail is obvious immediately when the hostess offers you a black napkin instead of having a white one on dark slacks.  It opened in 1989 and the same co-owners are still running the place, Suzette Greshen is the chef and Giancarlo Paterlini is the front end manager.  Service is exemplary and pacing is spot on.  They offer two tasting menus as well as an a la carte menu.  Wine pairings are available.  A good mix of people filled the room with a number of special occasions being celebrated. We chose the seasonal Tasting Menu and ordered our own wines.  

sign
sign
Frankie checked out plants
Frankie checked out plants
entry
entry
menu cover
menu cover
cover page
cover page
Prix Fixe menu
Prix Fixe menu
seasonal tasting menu
Seasonal Tasting Menu
interior
interior
table set up
table set up
Frankie studied the plate logo
Frankie studied the plate logo

 

The menu starts with Chef’s Surprises for the Evening which began with orange juice mixed with vermouth which was nice and refreshing.

juice
orange juice and vermouth
Frankie and the drink
Frankie and the drink

 

Panello (oil cake) with spring garlic was served warm.  It was smooth with a bit of crisp on the outside yet the interior was custardy.

panello with spring garlic
panello with spring garlic
c
closer
Frankie and the table flowers
Frankie and the table flowers

 

Lobster cake with powdered Italian spices was also warm.  The spices added a bit of salt taste to the soft texture but it was hard to discern the various ingredients from one another.

Lobster cake
Lobster cake
turned around
turned around
closer
closer
Frankie warmed by the candle
Frankie warmed by the candle

 

Ricotta budino with peas, white chocolate and Marconi almonds was the first course on the menu. The peas were really fresh, almost raw, and very tasty.  The almonds were crushed and blended in well.  It was a mildly flavored dish but pleasant tasting and a good mix of textures.

Ricotta Budino with peas, white chocolate and Marcona almonds
Ricotta Budino with peas, white chocolate and Marcona almonds
closer
closer
from the side
from the side
wine
wine

 

Bread service included breads with olive or rosemary flavors and butter dusted with lava salt.  A crisp crust worked nicely with the puffy interior.  The olive choice seemed to be wheat based and was a subtle flavor.

bread service
bread service
salt and butter
salt and butter
breads
breads
Frankie took a nap on the purse stool
Frankie took a nap on the purse stool

 

Citrus cured lobster with Espelette pepper, radish and sour orange from Seville was a bit salty but that mixed well with the tart orange sauce. It simply burst with flavor and reminded me of ceviche.  It had a hint of licquorice flavor created by the red onion blending with the orange sauce.  It was very good but not great.

Citrus cured lobaster with Espelette pepper, radish and sour orange
Citrus cured lobaster with Espelette pepper, radish and sour orange
closer
closer
underneath
underneath
wine
wine
Frankie found flowers
Frankie found flowers

 

We substituted the Acquerello risotto for the monkfish liver terrrine which was being substituted with a striped bass with mussels course that evening. It remained perfectly al dente and featured Sofrito abalone.  The abalone had a nice chewiness but overall I’d call it good not great.

Acquerello Risotto, Monterey Abalone, Roasted turnips and Red Dulse
Acquerello Risotto, Monterey Abalone, Roasted turnips and Red Dulse
closer
closer
Frankie looked it over
Frankie looked it over

 

Lamb filled spinach saccottini with pecorino Riserva and Piquillo mustard was quite nice.  They looked like small little sacks of pasta.  Small bits of fried sweetbreads and dabs of red pepper sauce rounded out a good presentation balance as well as providing a good amount of flavor.

Lamb filled spinach saccottini with Pecorino Riserva adn Piquillo mustard
Lamb filled spinach saccottini with Pecorino Riserva and Piquillo mustard
closer
closer
another angle
another side
packet
packet
Frankie wanted to try different wines with each course
Frankie wanted to try different wines with each course

 

Ridged pasta with foie gras, black truffle and Marsala were perfectly cooked pieces of pasta served with a thick sauce of foie gras. The truffles were more decorations than taste.  This is a signature dish of the restaurant and it has always been on the menu and you can see why. The sauce is exquisite as is the pasta.  It may look like a small portion but it is super rich.

Ridged pasta with foie gras, black truffle and Marsala
Ridged pasta with foie gras, black truffle and Marsala
closer
closer
Frankie checked out the knife for the next course
Frankie checked out the knife for the next course

 

A5 Wagyu beef with buckwheat and spiced crisp Elle, celery root and ginger is another divine dish. The Wagyu comes out sliced but nicely rare with a onion beef sauce.  It is as you would expect, soft, tender and luscious meat. The buckwheat crepes are smeared with a mild cabbage spread.  It is a good pairing for the rich meat.  The celery root was tart.  The meat is the star here.

A5 Wagyu beef with buckwheat and spiced cabbage crespelle, celery root and ginger
A5 Wagyu beef with buckwheat and spiced cabbage crespelle, celery root and ginger
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
inside buckwheat
inside buckwheat
Frankie inspected the salt
Frankie didn’t think it needed any additional seasoning

 

Gorgonzola Piccante with walnuts and caramel was the cheese course.  It came on a nice shortbread cookie.   When all the ingredients here were combined it was excellent.  It gave your mouth a little tingling sensation that was yum x3.   Gorgonzola and caramel combined – it doesn’t get any better than this.

Gorgonzola Piccante with walnuts and caramel
Gorgonzola Piccante with walnuts and caramel
closer
closer
from the side
from the side
Frankie studied it
Frankie studied it
closer
closer
separated sections
separated sections

 

The palate refresher was Candied Mandarinquat, Moscato wine, pineapple and guava.  The chewy sweet peel had an icy creamy center with cane sugar underneath.  Good.

Candied Mandarinquat, Moscato, pineapple and guava
Candied Mandarinquat, Moscato, pineapple and guava
another angle
another angle
closer
closer

 

Dessert was Coconut mousse, Caraibe chocolate and Kona coffee.  It was sweet and fun to eat. A good end to a really nice meal.

Coconut mousse, Caraïbe chocolate and Kona coffee
Coconut mousse, Caraïbe chocolate and Kona coffee
closer
closer
from the top
from the top
inside
inside
waiter
Wonderful waiter Franco Trudu

 

But then the dessert cart rolled over to temp you with additional fun sweets.

dessert cart
dessert cart
owner
Owner Giancarlo Paterlini presents the selections
Frankie explored the cart
Frankie explored the cart
seasoning the macaroons
seasoning the macaroons
some selections
some selections
another set of choices
another set of choices
kitchen staff meets Frankie
kitchen staff meets Frankie

 

Lastly they sent you home with a box of housemade biscotti that were quite good.  Put this place on your list if you’re in town.

a gift
a gift
Biscotti inside
Biscotti inside
Owner and waiter
Owner Giancarlo Paterlini and Franco
awards
awards
front flowers
front flowers
Owner and son
Owner Giancarlo and his son
wine cellar 1
wine cellar 1
wine cellar 2
wine cellar 2
front awning
front awning
Frankie almost got lost in the bushes
Frankie almost got lost in the bushes
Chef
Chef Suzette Greshen and Frankie

 

 

2 thoughts on “Acquerello, San Francisco, 3/10/18

  1. They have to love what they do and I love how personable they are….that Frankie is just a heart stealer! You are such an adventurous diner….Thanks for always showing the inside of things….like the coconut chocolate thing…I was wondering what it looked like and then there it was….Thanks for dinner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback Sharon! I often have wondered if it was gross to show the underneath and insides of things but it was of interest to me, so I did. I’m glad it comes off okay and not offensive. The exterior of a dish often leaves lots to be discovered and don’t know many sites that do that. Frankie can get away with it cause she’s cute and curious like any cat! Lol! Always glad to have you with us at our meals.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s