Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tour guide in training

A few weekends ago I had foodie friends in town, and I worked hard to manage my instinct to bend their trip to my will. Did they have other people to see? Who knows! Did they have their own preferences as to where and what they ate? Pshaw! They were excited, they were hungry, and they didn't tell me they could only afford burritos. I was in heaven.

Friday night they had reservations at Chez Panisse, and invited me along. Since Mike is a vegetarian and the downstairs (read: famous) area of Chez Panisse is a fixed menu, it's never made it onto the list of Fancy Places We Eat At For Anniversaries And Such. The first three courses were fish, and while they were lovely, they didn't seem to blow anyone away. There were two, count em two, courses of halibut. That's a lot of halibut. I guess the downside to being an originator is that when you're at the vanguard of farm to table and simple but innovative preparations of fresh ingredients, 20 years down the road the foodies aren't so impressed anymore. The service was impeccable, though, and the space was lovely. I'm very glad to have gone, but I can't say I'd recommend it for anyone else's bucket list, unless like me they want to pay tribute to the Cult of Alice.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and I spent it getting myself nice and roasty at Dolores Park. San Francisco when it's warm and sunny is a glorious thing.

I met up with the out of towners for a sunset sail, which was as wonderful as it always is. A lovely boat, drop dead views, and free wine. Can't beat it. The water was rough, and the first 30 minutes of the sail were a bit harrowing - ok, pretty dang harrowing - but we made the wise decision to laugh our asses off instead of fear for our lives, and it all worked out.
Saturday dinner was at Bar Crudo, which I always feel a bit guilty taking people to because it's my local joint and I know that instead I should scour reviews and Yelp for The Best Seafood In Town. But the fact is, I think Bar Crudo is the best seafood in town. The oysters are stunning - minerally, sweet, salty - and $1 until 6:30. The beer list is extremely well put together (I'm sure the wine list is too, but I'm a plebe there), the uni avocado toast blows my brains every time, and the seafood chowder is a smoky rich bisque.

And now I'm hungry.

We topped off the night at the Mint, where we didn't get on the list early enough to sing, but all was redeemed when I got to watch a coworker (who I ran into by chance) sing "My Neck, My Back", the dirty version. He rocked it.

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