07.25.2002 (Thursday), 09:06 PM

Food Glorious Food

I see...I see no...evil!

I decided that I wanted to take Janet to San Francisco today since I am now officially between jobs. OK, I gave myself a three day holiday bridge which is surely not enough...but I digress.

I wanted to make the day one of visiting old haunts and reviving some of our time honored traditions. We both had a menage-like love affair with San Francisco many years ago but as lovers will fall apart, we did so by becoming homebodies. I even developed a strict avoidance of anything related to the City unless it was absolutely necessary. Today, however, it was different.

First stop: The Little City Antipasto Bar
This was a bust as soon as we turned the corner and saw that the restaurant had been turned into some sort of generic McFood bar n' grill. I'm still mad and won't even say what Little City was like. Bah. Then the inspiration struck...

Next stop: Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
We had not been here in years but it still looked the same which was a very good sign. It was evident that there had been no compromise as we slid onto a pair of well-worn barstools. Mario's serves some very good wine and great foccicia sandwiches. We had both. I had the grilled eggplant with feta cheese, marinated red bell peppers, arrugula. Janet had the meatball with marinara. Both were on the freshest onion foccicia. We drank pinot grigio and sangiovese. We had a leisurely lunch and forgot the world.

Next stop: FLAX, Union Square and surrounding areas
OK, we did window shopping as well as some real shopping. We bought a 12" deep skillet for those times when we needed some deep skillet lovin' 'Nuff said. Fast forward to 8 pm...

Last stop:
The Left Bank in Menlo Park
OK, so we only had one meal in San Francisco...but The Left Bank has become my favorite drop-in-for-a-bite restaurant. They've got a beautiful open kitchen, tall ceilings, tables that are close together and a spectacular bar with at least four different kinds of pastis (anise flavored aperitifs). It's noisy, crowded, delightful. Bonus. Oh, Janet really likes it too. Double bonus.

The food is nice brasserie/bistro fare. They make an excellent steak frites, rich bouillabaisse and have a whole host of country french dishes. I had my usual which is the steak frites. The fried potatoes are to die for and the steak was perfect with a shallot coulis up top. Janet has the plat du jour which was a chicken and wild mushroom fricassee on top of pappardelle (very wide pasta) which had an excellent reduction of chicken and herbs that I kept dipping bread into before Janet speared my left hand with her knife to get me to stop. (So I guess I got the stigmata I had always been hoping for...) Again, we blotted out the world for a time and reveled in the ambiance and a couple of good glasses of wine including a very berry-rich Bordeaux.

After all if the crap that has gone on (the job thing, the diabetes thing, the diet thing), it was nice to get out and rekindle those things that make us happy and content.

Posted by wjc