I went out to dinner in San Francisco with Ying, Cathy and Erik last night, as our last *sniff* formal Friday night get together. It might be the last get together at all, at least for a year or two, because Ying is graduating and going to Germany, and Cathy is returning to England before going to New York for the summer. I will miss them both so much, and I just know I will keep seeing things that remind me of them all next year! Grr. What will I do without my fellow foodies? Save some money, I guess. 😐
Anyway, dinner was really nice. We went to a restaurant in SoMa called Le Charm; it’s a small French bistro with really nice staff and a pleasant ambience. It would be a nice restaurant for a date, especially if you’re not used to ‘nice’ restaurants. 🙂 Sometimes restaurants like this make you feel really stupid for not knowing things, or not being older or richer or better dressed or in possession of a European accent of some sort, but Le Charm wasn’t like that at all, and I appreciated that. Their service is lovely, but they weren’t snooty about it.
Their food is a little on the pricey side, not in general, but for students yes. It’s $25 prix-fixe, and you choose one appetizer, one entree and one dessert. (There’s a menu on their webpage.) I had the asparagus appetizer, which was really delicious, especially the sauce. Their bread and butter were also quite nice. I love butter, so I’m picky about it, and theirs was nice. 🙂 The food didn’t take a tremendously long time. It could have been faster, but it wasn’t horribly slow, just slow enough to allow for lots of conversation and digestion in between courses. They are a small restaurant, and they were crowded. My entree, the portobello and potato tourte, was a little too salty but otherwise very yummy. It had a particularly earthy flavor that set it apart from just ordinary pastry, so I liked that. There was a green salad with it so I got my vegetables too. 🙂
Dessert was fun, because throughout the meal we kept seeing them bringing this one dessert to other people… some creamy-fruity looking confection served in one of those tall ice cream glasses with whipped cream on top. We were fascinated, and at one point our waiter noticed and told us it was the apricot mousse. We all wanted someone to order it, so Cathy changed her creme brulee order to the mousse. It was probably worth it. She loved it. I had the praline chocolate cake, which was not at all what I expected. I’ve never had anything like it… it seemed to be a small multilayer cake set within mousse or something; I had to eat a bit of yummy outside stuff before I got to the actual cake. I have no idea what it was supposed to be, or how they made it, or what liquor they soaked it in, but it was very yummy.
I don’t really know all that much about French food, but I think theirs is more authentic than other places. They only had one vegetarian selection, but I appreciate that there is not a great deal of vegetarian fare in traditional French cooking, and if they want to preserve authenticity they shouldn’t have to add in things like pasta just to make veggies happy. The head chef/proprietor was present, walking around and making sure things were okay, which is always a good sign, and apparently all the kitchen staff is French as well.
I would like to take my mommy there sometime. 🙂 I wonder if they would just let me get two appetizers and dessert? I was very full by the time I finished my dessert, and I think their appetizers are really wonderful (Cathy’s goat-cheese and smoked salmon one was marvelous, and their French onion soup is also very tasty). Mmm I’m getting hungry again! Time for lunch. 🙂
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]
Thank you for thinking about me. I’d love to go. Let’s plan on that:)