Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last Supper: Jack Falstaff

I really hope this doesn't become a regular feature/series on my blog. Because it makes me sad. It's a tough economy. And sadly, some restaurants aren't making it. The papers are filled with news of closures.

One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Jack Falstaff, announced that it was closing a few weeks ago. It was so sad for me to hear. And I just had to go in one last time. So last week, some friends and I headed into Jack Falstaff for a Last Supper.

It was a little sad to even walk in. Knowing it was the last time I'd be in there. The team on board made sure we had an extra special last supper. We started with a cocktail at the bar and took our time enjoying it and talking to the team there.

We finally sat down and started with a great bottle of pinot. I immediately fell in love with the label (they were actually able to pull the label off the bottle and let me keep it!) We had our menus for not even a second before our server asked us if chef could cook for us. Done. Menus closed and back in the hands of the server within seconds. (Ok, except for me. I kept my menu. You all know I steal menus, right?) We knew better than to not allow chef to cook for us. We were leaving our meal in the hands of Jonny.

So while I took photos of everything we ate...the memory's a little fuzzy when it comes to all of the dishes (blame that on the 3 cocktails before dinner and the wine with dinner.) But here we go. We started with a yummy soup...

And then we moved onto one of Jonny's classic dishes--bison tartare.

And then the best dish of the night. Burratta with proscuitto wrapped around it and just a touch of bullsblood on top of it. It was absolutely delicious. The cheese was a little melty and soft, and the proscuitto was a tad crispy on the edges. It was so good. I still dream about it and crave it.

We moved onto the fish course. Cod with English peas and caramelized potatoes. Really good. And the peas were perfect and spring like.

The next course had two components. Lamb with polenta and sweet breads with olives. Really good.

It was time for more wine. One of the challenges of a restaurant closing is that they're not necessarily re-ordering or re-stocking wine. We tried to get a few different bottles of wine, and they came back to us each time saying they were out of that wine. Our server finally told us he was just going to pick something nice for us.

The next course was super interesting. It was a pastrami beef tongue stuffed with squash blossoms and marrow, sitting on a strip of steak and served over delicious corn.

We ended with two really good desserts. Doughnuts with a delicious strawberry/mint relish, as well as a strawberry parfait. So good!

I was sad to finish our meal. I knew it would be my last meal there. But you know what? I was thrilled for Chef Jonnatan Leiva. His food is amazing. And our experience? Flawless. Regardless of what happened to Falstaff, Jonny will always have his food. And no matter where he ends up, I know I'll always have good food.

The lesson here? Go out and eat! Support your favorite restaurants, chefs, bars. Times are tough. Don't assume it's business as usual, and if you're going out to eat? Make it count.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a meal and a bottle of Silver Oak. I've been ordering my books from a local shop in Danville. No more Amazon for me, the small local business needs the money more! Great post Jamie.