When the most expensive restaurant in SF lets you down…
And you’re still hungry after! WTH!
I literally drove straight to Whole Foods & ate a donut to drown in my sorrows after leaving 3 car payments on the table (insert: crying emoji)
I mean. Don’t get me wrong… I had a great meal.
I just wasn’t… WOW’d by it (does that make any sense?). And more importantly, I wasn’t FULL either! If I’m paying $750 a person (+ wine pairing), I expect to be soooooo full and mindblown, that they’d HAVE to roll me out of there.
SO anyways, for those of you who have never heard of Saison… they serve a ~16 course tasting menu that changes daily depending on the best ingredients available. The courses are well presented, service is excellent, but neither the flavors nor the combinations were THAT impressive. Like, the uni was good. But I’ve had better at a restaurant with no Michelin stars for .000005% of the price.
I’m also saying these things in comparison to other restaurants of this caliber.
So. Compared to other three star Michelin restaurants (The French Laundry, Eleven Madison Park), Saison was the only restaurant where I wasn’t WOW’d. I was actually more impressed by Atelier Cren with 2 Michelin stars (<– #mindblown by that place.)
Side: For those who have followed the CynEats column, you know that I hate writing about places I don’t like. So I’m going to keep it real short.
Basically, I think Saison is an overall great restaurant. But for the price? Meh. A lot of it was just lacking for me.
Since their menu changes quite often, your experience and dishes could be much different than mine. But if I’m paying that much money, I’d expect a fantastic meal no matter when I go.
Here are the pics:
Our first appetizer of the night is a generous portion of caviar, cured with smoked salt.
The flavors are delicate with mild briny notes. It was paired very well with a brioche cube basted in smoked pork fat.
Honestly, this was one of the best dishes and a great way to start the meal-!!
This broth of grilled roots with sea cucumber cracking was… Meh.
Their uni is served like a piece of nigiri, except it was on top of sourdough bread which was soaked in brown butter & soy sauce. Not bad, not mind blowing either.
Now THIS piece of trout was delish and impressive. It’s made of delicately crisped skin, thin layer of roe gelée, sauce from its bones, and smoky, buttery soft flesh. One of the tougher dishes to execute and they did it perfectly.
I can’t remember what this was…
Or this #unmemorable
This duck tho! I honestly loved every bite and wished there was more. There was a perfect meat-fat ratio and the skin was slightly crisped. Each bite was tender, juicy, and flavorful. Awesome job- Saison!
This red beet is cooked for THREE days, and roasted over coals. It has a dense and almost “meaty” texture, the herbs & bone marrow juice complimented the flavors very well.
It was probably the best beet I’ve ever had, but then again- it’s just a beet.
These brassica leaves are cooked multiple ways and blistered in a fire (kinda tastes like brussels sprouts). It was good, but lets face it- did I really just pay THAT much money for some leaves?
Yep – I sure did. (face-palm)
This custard was really good. It’s made from parmesan & Cowgirl Creamery cheese. It’s creamy, savory, and the texture reminds me of a Chinese dessert called TofuFa.
I don’t remember what this was either.
This was also unmemorable.
For dessert- we started off with a scoop of ice cream and caramel cooked in fire, topped with delicious carameland cocoa nibs.. It had a deep smokiness to it, that I’ve never had before.
The second dessert is a sorbet served inside a mandarin orange shell. I LOVED this and thought it was super creative.
This last course is basic- basically TINY ass strawberries with a glaze on top. You would think that they’d actually give you bigger or normal sized ones? Maybe?
(Side note: this picture is missing one because I forgot to take a pic first lol)
Oh yeah, we also had some tea at the end (they also count this as a course).
So it sum it all up:
I went to Whole Foods after and ate a donut.