Last night’s dinner with Chef Jean-Christophe and his team was one of the most joyous culinary events of my life.
The restaurant’s setting is amazing, tucked away on an island in an old stone house. I was greeted before I even entered by The Chef and one of the two front-of-the-house staff that served. They invited me to have an aperitif outside, which I enjoyed on several large cushioned couches that lie just outside the entrance. The Chef joined me for several minutes to explain the menu and his rationale for it, and to swap stories about our favorite restaurants in San Francisco.
Once inside, I was taken to my table where I felt like a King. There were only 4-5 tables in this modern and tastefully decorated room arranged in a circular pattern, with great spacing and a calm, almost worshipful aura permeating throughout. The Chef spent a great deal of time out in the dining room explaining the dishes, supporting wine selections and serving the courses side by side his staff. He seemed to truly be a man at peace with his cooking and his restaurant.
And it showed in the food. There was a lollipop starter. A crab and citrus ‘panna cotta.’ The Chef’s signature porcini and foie gras ‘cappuccino’ soup. And a scallop, spinach and truffle lasagna. Mains consisted of a Thai inspired Turbot Tom Yum Goong and a Duck Breast dusted with a 12 spice sachet packet. The various courses spoke to one another and occasionally shared some common ingredients, but each was unique in its presentation and flavors. Multiple desserts followed, including a somewhat surprising cream cake stuffed with artichoke.
Attire was not overly formal - a couple sports coats, many without. The wine list was well chosen, diverse and affordable, and presented on an iPad tablet. The fixed menu pricing is higher than most restaurants, but expected (and dare I even say a good value) for a dining experience of this quality.
The food, service and setting were all truly memorable. Bravo Chef! If you’re a gourmand, add this to your bucket list. HIGHLY Recommended.
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