The Fab Four Weekend in San Francisco, with three of my close girl friends from college, was ALL about food. We made reservations a month in advance but STILL could only get a Gary Danko rezzie at 10:00 p.m. Urged to keep the late time slot because it was a “couldn’t miss” dining experience, we had champagne and hors d’oeurves at a friend’s house to tide us over before our late dinner.
When we arrived, the Maitre D, Steve, pulled my friend aside and asked if we would care to dine in their private dining room that had been booked out two months in advance but cancelled on at the last minute. Would we care to?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! Of course we would!!!
The private room, where Vince Vaughn had recently dined, had a gorgeous black crystal chandelier and was every bit as elegant as it was formal. Gorgeous orchids flowed out of tall vases and the art on the wall spoke for itself. It was perfect for an intimate evening with close friends.
Our waiter, and waitstaff, were overly friendly and overly knowledgeable about the menu, wine list and SF dining scene. We all kibbitzed and kveled over each dish that came out.
Before our first course came we were spoiled with an amuse bouche – seared fois gras on crostini with morel mushroom and garnish (can’t remember exactly). Four waiters brought in the dishes and simultaneously placed each in front of us like a choreographed dance.
We each ordered three course – you have a choice between three, four or five. I started out with the crispy farm egg with white polenta, royal trumpet mushrooms, frisee and pancetta. As my spoon gently dug into the crisy farm egg, the tender yolk flooded over the mushrooms and frisee like a wave crashing onto the shore at the beach. The diverse flavors danced in my mouth.
After our first course we were treated with another amuse bouche, which was even tastier than the first. Buckwheat belini, smoked salmon & caviar amuse bouche danced in my mouth. I am not a “Gossip Girl” watcher, but OMFG. Unbelievable.
My second course was roast Maine lobster with potato puree, black trumpet mushrooms, edamame and tarragon. Wow. This was undoubtfully the best, most tender lobster I’ve ever had. Because two of my five friends ordered dessert as their third course, they were both brought a savory course at this time so “they would have something to eat while the three of us enjoyed our secord course.” Wow. Impressed with Gary Danko’s generosity.
My main course was herb crusted loin of lamb with Moroccan lamb sausage, hummus, spiced eggplant stew and mint yogurt. My subconsicous got the best of me and I blurterd out my love for the dish, “I want to marry you,” which made our waiter laugh.
Before the dessert course was brought out we received our last amuse bouche - an assortment of delicate dessert bites! Two souffles were then devoured after fresh chocolate was drizzled into the beckoning center, freshly pierced by our waiter.
As if this night couldn't get any better... as we were getting ready to leave, our waiter brought us a treat - breakfast for the morning! We each received individually-wrapped vanilla bundt cakes!
Eating at Gary Danko was much more than just a meal. It was an experience. This evening sky rocketed to “Top Tastes of My Life” and reminded me a lot of one of my other most memorable dining experiences – Binkley’s in Cave Creek, AZ. From the food, to the decor, to the ambiance, to the service, Gary Danko overdelivered on my four components for an ultimate food experience. It was an absolutely exquisite evening that I will always remember. Gary, thank you.