In honor of my recent graduation from college, my parents offered to take me to a restaurant of my choosing. Living in the bay area, the gastronomic options are nearly endless. In the end though, a choice must be made. I went with restaurant Gary Danko. Here's a photographic recap of the evening's meal.
The menu is expansive yet flexible. Choose 3, 4 or 5 courses. Classically your 5 course dinner would include one appetizer, one fish plate, one meat plate, a cheese course and a dessert but you could choose any of your dishes from any of the courses if you please. For example if 2 appetizers, 2 fish dishes and a dessert sound good to you that night, the kitchen will happily cater to your needs.
The bathroom was equipped with individually rolled linen towels for drying your hands.
Amuse Bouche is French for "Mouth Amuser", and they are usually very tiny pre-appetizer nibbles sent out by the kitchen to wake up your salivary glands. This did the trick. The puree was rich and the smokiness of the bacon really stood out.
The Foie Gras was rich and buttery as expected, but what really brought the dish together was the veal stock/port wine reduction sauce.
Lobster was cooked perfectly. Sauce was sublime. Fish 'n chips on ecstasy?
Yes sir, this dish came through as well. Duck cracklins were sprinkled on top of the medium-rare cooked breast. The hash was accented with middle-eastern spices and rendered duck fat. It was almost too pretty to chow.
Cow cheese, goat cheese, sheep cheese, duck cheese, a little too much..cheese.
Like eating a cocoa cumulus.
After dessert they even brought me out a little plate of candies and chocolates with "Congratulations" written in chocolate ink.
This was for sure a memorable dining experience. Beyond the food (which was meticulously prepared and executed), the staff at Gary Danko provided ultra-attentive and accommodating service without coming off the least bit pretentious. I'd definitely love to go back again.
Hmmm..maybe grad school might be worth it after all.