Before we went out to our anniversary dinner, we had to earn it somehow. We decided to go hiking in 100F weather. How wise.
We drove up to Point Reyes and conquered the Bear Valley Trail. Well, part of it anyway. It was a four mile trail starting in the woods and ending at the coast (and then, of course, you have to manage the four miles back to your car). Unfortunately, we did not have the stamina or time to do these eight miles. I think we completed about five. I hope to go back at some point, and break up the eight miles with a picnic at the water.
Anyway, we got home and were about to starve, but luckily we had 6:30pm reservations at:
Yup. Fleur de Lys. It was the nicest/most popular restaurant that I hadn’t been to. Those are always nice classic places for birthdays and anniversaries. And this was definitely a classic. Fleur de Lys has been under the same management since 1970, and you can tell. The canopied main room and the furniture and décor scream of another era, an old-time San Francisco that reminds me a little of Moulin Rouge.
Ok, so I’m a little miffed at Food and Wine right now. The August issue of Food and Wine had a whole page about how to take pictures of food. Apparently it’s a cardinal sin to take a picture of food with a flash. “Wow” I thought, “This must be my problem with my pictures, I’ll go the whole night at Fleur de Lys without using my flash, and just Photoshop the pictures later.”
Sometimes my stupidity amazes me.
Felix actually convinced me to take at least one picture with a flash, so just in case all the others didn’t come out- I would have something to show. It came out like this:
That’s the pecan crusted filet minion with braised endive and parsnip gratin. Then I took the rest of my pictures sans flash and tried to photoshop them. They turned out like this:
I guess the rule about taking pictures without a flash is that you actually have to know how to use Photoshop. Yup.
Ok, but back to Fleur de Lys. Definitely French. Definitely stuffy. Definitely wonderful. We opted for the 5 course tasting menu because about twice a year, I like to experience a cheese course. There were a few slam dunks. The amuse bouche: pea puree over a quail egg:
Yum. Like eating springtime. Felix’s appetizer lobster:
This lobster had one of the best sauces that has ever been paired with seafood. My fish course was a seabass with a crust of black trumpet mushrooms over a warm cabbage and bacon salad:
Then we both had the filet, rare. Felix considered getting it “extra rare”, but the waitress informed him that they next level was blue.
“Felix, I think they know about rare here, they’ll do it right.”
They did. The filet was pretty amazing…but I’m kind of getting tired of filets. I need to convince myself that these are the types of places to try a new cut of meat that you were once scared of.
We then had our cheese course. This was the only course with which I was disappointed (and you get no picture because it turned out…well…you know). We were given too many cheeses (five) and usually with a cheese course, the server tells you where to start. We were given no guidance and I definitely started with the most noxious, baby-diaper-tasting cheese. So after that, all five cheeses basically tasted like baby-diaper-cheese.
Luckily, I was put in a better mood with my dessert. The chocolate grand finale:
Overall, I’m really glad that we went to Fleur de Lys, but, I don’t know if I’d pick it again (though I should mention that it has a vegetarian tasting menu- not something that all restaurants of that caliber can boast.). The food is amazing, but the atmosphere doesn’t excite me as much as Gary Danko or Jardinière.
And until I get better at Photoshop, I'm back to using a flash...
Fleur de Lys
777 Sutter St.