LuLu (SF, CA)

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at LuLu with our friends Derek and Lisa.
Trio of appetizers: Bruschetta, blue cheese & pears, beet & watermelon salad
Grilled chevre wrapped in grape leaves served with toast
Summer squash
Wild mushroom and truffle pizza
Beignets and blackberries, for the birthday boy

Topolobampo (Chicago, IL)

Topolobampo is the up-scale restaurant by Chef Rick Bayless, right next to the more casual Frontera Grill. Topolobampo is known for its 5-course tasting menu, which changes every month.

Patita de Puerco, Chorizo, Erizo: Crispy nugget of homemade chorizo and pig's feet, unctuous slow-poached egg, creamy tequila-infused sea urchin sauce. Dollop of smoked paddlefish roe.

Ancas de Rana en Salsa de Frijol Negro: Lake Okeechobee frog legs with chipotle-black bean sauce and creamy polenta-style tamal infused with red guajillo chile. Nichols Farm snap peas, crispy potato ring, Bayless Garden microgreens.

Tamal de Huitlacoche, Espuma de Flores: Super-tender sweet corn-huitlacoche tamal with froth sauce of Bayless Garden squash blossoms, Oaxacan quesillo cheese and poblano chile. Summer squash confetti, epazote, huitlacoche dust.

Cachetes de Halibut en Verde: Garlicky, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut cheeks in herby Tabasco-style "verde" sauce (peas, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley). Yellow fava bean mash, pickled pasilla chiles, River Valley Ranch shiitake mushrooms.

"Ribeye" en Mole Negro: Creekstone Natural seared ribeye with Oaxacan black mole (3 chiles plus 25 other ingredients). Black bean tamalon, wood-grilled green beans, tangy jamaica jewels.

Tartaleta de Chocolate con Cajeta: Crispy custard tart of creamy Mexican chocolate and uncuous cajeta (goat milk caramel). Toasted marshmallows, graham cracker "gravel," goat cheese ice cream and height-of-season local blackberries.

Wine Valley Catering (SF, CA)

Nathan and I did a tasting to make sure the food at our wedding would be yummy. Here are the highlights:
Yay on the crabcakes + Spanish romesco sauce. (Good choice, Jen!) The wild mushroom + truffle pizzettas were pretty good too.
St. Andre brie + fruits was refreshing, while the "mini BLT" was disappointing (says Nathan), so we're cutting it from our list.
Can't go wrong with a caprese salad, especially when tomatoes are in season.
Salmon with dill (and usually with kumquats, but not today)
Beef tenderloin was a little overdone, according to Nathan, so we might just do chicken instead.
The cakes were pretty, but kind of blah, so we're still looking.

La Folie (SF, CA)

Amuse bouche
Coddled egg
Summer pea soup
Foie gras soup
Heirloom tomato salad
Chevre tatin
Mushroom risotto (with foam)
Beef tenderloin
Cheese course
Trio of sorbets

Farina (SF, CA)

Serious pasta-making.
Foccacia di recco = stracchino cheese melted between two layers of dough
Taglierini di boraggine alla paesana con funghi porcini e tartufo nero, handmade taglierini with wild porcini mushrooms and black truffles
Mandilli di seta al pesto, handmade handkerchief pasta with Chef Paolo's award-winning basil pesto
Chocolate-covered semifreddo

Liguria Bakery (SF, CA)

Thanks to one of our secretaries, who brought yummy focaccia to the office!

Sunflower Vietnamese (SF, CA)

Veggie pho
Regular pho
Five spice chicken on vermicelli noodles and spring rolls
Sunflower prawns

Jackson Fillmore Trattoria (SF, CA)

I remembered my camera!

Burrata salad (with delicious heirloom tomatoes)

Contadino misto with Calabrese sausage and chicken

Linguine fra Diavolo with prawns and shrimp (apparently those are two different things?)


Goat cheese plate with honey and coffee grounds, an interesting combo (really, it's cheese; not banana slices)

Bombay Ice Creamery (SF, CA)

Cardamom rose and young coconut
Kona coffee and black sesame
Watermelon juice