Friday, June 10, 2016

Food Friday: Farallon

Farallon 450 Post Street 

Growing up, my favorite Disney movie was The Little Mermaid. I owned Ariel stuff up the wazoo, you guys. My Little Mermaid fandom (obsession?) went hand in hand with my love for seafood. Crab? Yeah, I like that. Shrimp? The more the merrier! Fish? I'll take a school of 'em. No sea creature was safe (except for eel, still really not into that...). Shellfish was my jam, and I admittedly, I really liked going to that one lobster chain you might have heard about. Fast forward about 20 years and while the obsession with Ariel has died down, the love of seafood has steadily persevered. In fact, friends are often really impressed (disgusted?) with how much sushi I consume. (I became somewhat concerned with my consumption rate and preemptively read up on the warning signs of mercury poisoning - JUST IN CASE.) Anyways, moral of the story? This Stacker loves her seafood. Cue Farallon - a San Francisco classic filled to the brim with tasty creatures from the sea. (Also, I know that's a photo of meat up there, but like surf and turf, right?)

Farallon is located in SF's Union Square neighborhood. If you're like me - your mind immediately goes to shopping and tourists when you hear Union Square. As such, there's a slight misconception from us locals that the neighborhood isn't really a place to venture for food. Sure, there are some restaurants here and there, but if you're going to Union Square, you're going to shop and when you get hungry, you grab a pretzel from the mall to tide you over, forgetting that there are actually decent dining options just around the corner. Farallon, is one of those options - though much more than just "decent." In fact, it's a well-respected establishment in the city, known for it's classic coastal cuisine. It's perfect for the after work crew looking for a spot to have happy hour, the out-of-towners who want a beautiful meal after a day of shopping, and the locals who want to get their fresh fix of seafood, but can't think of where to go.

One casual Tuesday after work, my boyfriend and I had the pleasure of experiencing Farallon's six-course tasting menu. At just under $100, you'll get the best range of what Farallon had to offer. Typically speaking, whenever we can do a tasting menu, we do it. I'm an indecisive creature by nature, so when a full menu of wide offerings is presented to me, I close my menu and let the chef take over. In this particular instance, it was a great decision.

We started off with a single Kumamoto Oyster soaked in a castelvetrano olive dirty martini mixture - the oyster was fresh (and I mean fresh) and the dirty martini liquid pairing was a nice twist. Oysters are touchy for some people - as such, there's absolutely nothing worse than a bad one. Farallon has a grand oyster bar, so you know every single shell is going to be a good one. Next up, was the Farallon Halibut Crudo with spring garlic. Now this was good. The halibut itself was delicious; the dressing was a light citrus garlic oil flavor - not too overpowering, just right. What I was surprised to enjoy even more were the onions - some were fried and had such a tasty flavor. (My mouth waters just recounting this dish). Next up, was the Cayucos Abalone with cucumbers and the seaweed it eats. Now, I've gotta be so real when I tell you I am not really a snail fan. It's not the first thing I would order, but it's also not the last thing I'll eat. Never mind that an abalone is a sea snail - it still kind of taste the same, or is that just me? Regardless, I was down to try this dish and while it wasn't my absolute favorite (personal issues with texture), I will impartially say that it had a buttery and flavorful taste.

Now we get into the real good stuff - the salmon. My favorite fish is salmon - if there's salmon on the menu, I want it. Baked salmon, salmon sashimi, salmon sushi, just plain salmon - I'll eat it. (Just not salmon skin...). So, I was very excited about the Moss Landing Wild King Salmon with smoked trout roe, favas, blueberries & mint. Yes, BLUEBERRIES! Everything paired together deliciously and the salmon was cooked to perfection. Now, if you're not full by now, you're pacing yourself really well. Next up was the tender-cooked Free Range Veal with porcinis, wild ramps, and nicasio valley locarno cheese. Now, I've already told you that salmon is my favorite above everything, but this dish was my favorite from the night. The meat was portioned and prepared perfectly. I hate to sound like a broken record by saying that everything was so flavorful, but golly, everything really was. Finally, we had dessert - Honey Poached Peaches with angel food, tarragon, noyaux chantilly and almonds. So light, so airy - a perfect way to end the meal. We both finished our last dish with smiles ear to ear because everything was just delightful - no dish was too big, nor too small. Everything was portioned just right.

I'm looking forward to heading back to Farallon for their happy hour and, of course, another dinner. Couldn't get over the charming decor - did you see those jellies up there?? Special thanks to Farallon for inviting us to taste your wonderful menu - can't wait for round two!


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