Saison Restaurant Review, San Francisco
Posted by Foodnut.com
Saison (French for “season”) is a Michelin starred restaurant in San Francisco that focuses on a singular 8 course prix fixe meal each evening using local, specifically identified, and sustainable ingredients.
This style considers different elements of the ingredients, incorporating influences from its native environment and leveraging primitive techniques like ember and ash cooking. They earned one Michelin star in 2011.
Summary – Saison serves up cutting-edge food in a relaxed multi-hour adventure.
Insider Tip – Limited options, so you have to be flexible with your likes and dislikes.
Cuisine – New American cuisine
Chef – Joshua Skenes (Chez TJ, Stonehill Tavern)
Location – San Francisco Mission district
Opened – 2009
Decor, Vibe – Saison is located in a converted building with a covered and heated patio area, reclaimed wood tables, and a main dining room that has a large view of the beautiful and well lit kitchen. Saison tends to be casual, even though they have an extensive prix fixe menu. The place featured a cross-section of middle-aged foodies dining.
A Chef’s table with a customized menu, is also available.
Saison’s Menu is updated frequently and features an optional $78 wine pairing. The pacing is so slow, that the wines affect will probably be done by the time you’re ready to leave.
Complimentary Charles Duret Cremant de Bourgogne NV sparkling wine with nice touch. A refill even occurred.
Amuse Bouche of radish, crème fraîche possessed lots of fresh vegetables flavors.
High-quality bread especially the mini brioche loaf and their special butter.
Wild sea bream, River vegetable, olive oil, Meyer lemon – It seems like every restaurant has an ahi tuna or some variant on the menu! A light unified dressing combined with thin, very fresh white fish, made for a nice starter.
Brassicas (mustard green), leaves, shoots and buds, Bonito – A nice soft poached egg on top, with some crispy greens, toasted oats and a low key broth.
Crustaceans in their own bouillon, sea urchin, nasturtium – A rich broth poured tableside with uni and fresh Dungeness crab possessing a cold center but rich flavor.
Liver mousseline, winter fruits, hibiscus came with toasted homemade country bread and proved to be an excellent dish. A Riesling layer, hibiscus gel, and pear butter rounded out the decadent spread. Definitely needed more bread to use up all this rich, smooth, pate.
poularde agnolotti, almond milk looked very simple and ordinary but proved to be excellent chicken filled raviolis that better most Italian restaurants including flour and water.
Berkshire pig, Wild fennel, persimmon, chili was the signature entree of the night and included some crispy pig ears. High-quality tender pork that was cooked to a medium rare and accompanied with some interesting and crunchy pig parts.
Lemon sorbet, green tea powder, sorrel has an egg foam on the surface that resulted in a tangy, not too tart combo.
Royale of carrot, coal toasted meringue, orange, ricotta featured freshly cooked meringue possessing a wet sticky texture.
Popcorn ice cream rounded out the meal with a surprisingly accurate rendition of popcorn produced into an ice cream.
Service – Saison’s service was solid but not exceptional. Not a lot of warmth to the service but competent nonetheless. At times we wondered where our server went. Pacing was off, occasionally it was really slow, other times it was fine.
Value – At $108, you expect Gary Danko level food quality and they deliver with very technically competent cuisine. Clearly this is a special occasion restaurant unless you are well heeled and have 3 hours to burn regularly.
Verdict – Saison impressed us with inventive cuisine reminding us of places like Commis and Coi. The food fired on all cylinders, there were no clinkers. Saison is definitely fit for foodies looking for cutting-edge food utilizing the finest of ingredients. Meals move fairly slowly, lasting 2 1/2 to 3 hours, so plan accordingly.
18% service charge is automatically added as is 4.1% for San Francisco health care.
Filed under: $$$$, 3 stars, American Restaurant, California, Dine Again?, Go Again, Restaurant Cost, Restaurant Cuisine, Restaurant Location, Restaurant Rating, Restaurant Review, San Francisco Restaurants, United States | Tags: Michelin Guide, One Michelin Star, Prix Fixed Menu, San Francisco mission district
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