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Monday, January 09, 2006

What's dat?

Dine About Town! It's back! I'm really enthusiastic about this promotion because it's just the kick in the pants I need to get me to try some new restaurants or revisit some favorites.

So what exactly is Dine About Town? It's a promotion where in the month of January various San Francisco restaurants offer a 3-course lunch for $21.95 and/or dinner for $31.95. Not exactly cheap, but many of the restaurants on the list are quite pricey ones so it does represent a discount. There is also a VIP gift kit if you stay in a San Francisco hotel during the month of January, check out the web site for more details.

Some of the restaurants I am putting on my list to eat at this month include:
Zuppa--brand new, South of Market, getting good reviews, high on my list
Tablespoon--right down the block from my house, but I've never been there
Jack Falstaff--I have wanted to go ever since interviewing the wine director last year

Last year I ate at 1550 Hyde and RNM and loved them both. Check out last January 2005 in the Archives to read my reviews. Last night I revisited 1550 Hyde and the food was wonderful. I had a delicious antipasto platter with homemade pate, salami, and chantarelles. For an entree I had the heritage berkshire pork ribs with white wine, tomato and balsamic with bloomsdale spinach and soft polenta. This was a perfect Winter menu, the ribs melted off the bone and the spinach was tender, the polenta creamy and sweet. For dessert a caramelized pear tart with a Reisling ice cream.

Also worth noting, the wine list at 1550 Hyde is so good it has been honored by Food & Wine magazine, it features lots of inexpensive and interesting options. I enjoyed the 2004 Kurt Angerer Gruner Veltliner which was crisp with lots of green apple tones and a 2003 Capitel della Crossara Vapolicella Classico "ripasso" which was very well-balanced, with notes of anise, dried fruit and violet.

Ripasso is the technique that uses the unpressed skins or "lees" for Amarone, this makes it more robust, but not necessarily expensive, our bottle was only $26. A big thanks to Gastronomie for the delightful company and the lesson in Valpolicella!