Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gary Danko

Gary Danko is almost as synonymous to San Francisco, as Alice Waters is to the Berkley area.

A past James Beard award winner, Gary Danko has set the bar quite high. Known for precision food and excellent service, Gary Danko met my expectations and exceeded them if possible.

The meal started out with an amuse bouche of pea and ramp (I think) soup with a lobster tempura ball. The soup was sweet and delicate, and the lobster was sweet and salty at the same time. Perfect way to start the meal, along with a complimentary glass of rose champagne.

The next amuse, was a buckwheat bilini topped with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and osetra caviar. Although smoked salmon and caviar are a classic combination, the addition of the buckwheat bilini gave a nice subtle nutty flavor.

The risotto tasted like a bowl of spring. Nice creamy risotto with a little bit of bite to it, was paired with peas and asparagus at the peak of flavor. The lobster and rock shrimp were nice and sweet. The shimeji mushrooms provided an earthy balance.

The roast Maine lobster is a sight to behold. The lobster is sweet and briny, the potato puree super creamy, while the black trumpet mushrooms and edamame give a textural balance.

The horseradish crusted salmon is one of Gary Danko's signature dishes. Unforunately, this was my least favorite dish of the night. The horseradish was lacking the spicy kick I was expecting, and the pickled cucumbers and carrots seemed to overpower the delicate flavor of the salmon.

The lamb two ways provided both a textural and flavor difference. The loin had a more firm texture with a "meatier" taste, while the shoulder was more tender but had a "gameyness" expected from lamb.

The bison had a real "beefy" flavor, and although cooked medium rare had a little chew to it. The cipollini onions were a little too sweet for my taste, while the trumpet mushrooms added another hearty flavor and texture.

The chocolate souffle with two sauces was nice and light on top, and oozing on the bottom. This is a super rich dessert, but perfect for chocoholics.

The trio of creme brulee was a definite winner. The creme brulee was more on the custard side, instead of being firm, just the way I like it. The butterscotch creme brulee was absolutely fabulous. The chocolate creme brulee was on the thin side, while most of the chocolate creme brulee's I've had in the past are real thick like pudding.

The meal ended with a small platter of petit fours. The citrus cookies were a good way to cut through the richness of the meal.

I was lucky enough to be given a signed copy of the menu by Gary Danko, along with some small gifts including small bottles of their hand soap and lotion, a monogrammed purse holder, and a Gary Danko wine key.

I highly recommend Gary Danko for any food lover, and will be back again in the future.


Anonymous said...

This place is insane. Perhaps one of the best meals I have ever had in my life!

Vegasbuff said...

There is definitely a lot to love about Gary Danko. Great food, great service, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.