Friday, March 3, 2017

Food Friday: 3rd Cousin

3rd Cousin 919 Cortland Avenue


I'll be the first to tell you that I don't spend much time in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood. It's pretty much on the opposite side of the city for me, and without a car, it's a bit of a trek. That being said, I live by the saying, "Will travel for food." So, no distance can keep me away from great eats. Cue, Bernal's 3rd Cousin, a New American restaurant serving California cuisine. I'd never heard of it before, but after being invited to experience the restaurant's tasting menu, I quickly looked up photos of its Uni Creme Brulee on Instagram and my stomach couldn't wait. Nor shall yours after reading this post.

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Did you see those pictures up there? Where do I even start. I was fortunate enough to indulge in a four course tasting menu with wine paired alongside each dish. But is it really four courses if you have almost every menu item under each course category? Riddle me that. In all seriousness, we were generously served an insane amount of delicious food from 3rd Cousin (17 different dishes, you guys. 17!). Because I know that not everyone can ball out and order 17 tasty dishes at once, as with all dining experiences, there were a few standouts that made me "mmm" a little longer and had me going in for seconds.

First up, and probably Chef Lutes's most famed dish, the uni creme brulee, topped with petrossian caviar, yuz tobiko and trout roe. Creamy uni paired with sweet creme brulee seem like unlikely pairings, right? I thought to myself, do I really want to eat these two things together? The answer is yes. If you're not a fan of uni's decadent taste, you may not care for it, but explosion of flavors spread across it dish's accompanying toast are a must-try in my book. I can't even accurately describe what it was I tasted, but believe me it was good. Next up, another pair to my liking was chef's play on surf and turf - scallop and pork belly with kohlrabi, kumquat, peanuts, black vinegar and tarragon. I love scallops. They're simple and light, but satisfyingly filling. Now, imagine a bite of scallops with a bite of rich pork belly. Amazing, right? Right. My favorite entree was the perigord truffle and porcini ravioli, which (and still is) surprising. I don't eat mushrooms and pasta is undoubtedly my least favorite food (sorry!). But this dish was rich, creamy, and comforting. Other honorable mentions include the grilled pork chop and crab ramen. Chef's tasting menu is $89 for four courses, which is an incredible deal for San Francisco. If you're looking to shake up your normal dining routine, take a trip to Bernal and grab a seat at 3rd Cousin. Try a tasting, or try some of the standouts I mentioned above. Either route you take, you'll arrive at a delicious place.

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