Another restaurant that ranks in the top dining experiences ever was at Saison ( It too had humble beginnings and started as pop-up, and now is only 1 of 3 restaurants in San Francisco to earn 2 Michelin Stars.

After enjoying Benu so much, I thought..what could possibly top Benu (in the city)?? Hm…the only restaurant that seemed to fit the bill was Saison. So for SW’s birthday last year, we ate at the Chef’s Counter at Saison. It was a one of kind experience and the first time at a chef’s table for both of us. We really enjoyed watching them meticulously and delicately preparing each dish–imagine tweezers being used to perfectly place ingredients. It was a tasting menu which also included wine pairings for each dish…there were over 20 small dishes!! Normally, I’ll always try to finish all wine. Call me if lush if you like–I don’t like to waste! haha, but even here, there were SOOO many…it was near impossible to. Actually, I’m re-thinking this and I have to correct myself–this dining experience tops them all.

We didn’t know what would be served or how many dishes, so each dish was a surprise.

So I would like to share my best dining experience with you ever.

I have to say that the kitchen was surprisingly very calm and quiet…perhaps this is a sign of a great team that knows what they’re doing…Or I’ve just been watching too much Hell’s Kitchen haha

 Palate Cleanser — wood sorrel soda, crystalized oxalis.
I actually just looked up what oxalis because I had no idea what the description was. It’s part of the wood sorrel family and looks similar to a clover.

This was a surprising amuse bouche. I think I recall it tasting very fresh & sour, as if you were drinking a slightly carbonated grass soda, and then finished off by taking a taste of the sugar off of the stem.

grilled peas & parmesan..2nd glass of wine..

reserve caviar & sea urchin gently smoked, cauliflower, roast chicken gelee

LOVE caviar & uni!

oyster with edible flowers

very different take on what I would imagine an ‘oyster’ to look like, but it was pretty!

live scallop, miewa kumquat citronettte

yellowstone brown trout, ramps vichyssoise

 (looked this up too haha — its the flower on top)

cherry blossom sea bream, kissed with a coal

aged bluefin tuna hams, cured sea urchin

 it was ‘floating’ on the cup

bluefin spine with gold flakes


leaves, shoots and buds, smoked sesame

wine is starting to accumulate….

farm egg & golden trout roe, asparagus sabayon

 i recall this being really tasty!

vegetable crudite, fermented anchovy



white asparagus & sea urchin cured in its own sea water

..mmm..more uni

pacific king salmon

layers of foie gras, milk, bread, beer

everytime i see fg somewhere..i still miss it.

Executive chef Josh Skenes

rabbit, the whole thing

didn’t eat much of this one..only a taste.

wolf ranch quail, cured things

bone marrow & crushed beets

couldn’t finish them all 😦 there was beer and sake also. variety even for beverages! This was the first time I had Gruner Veltliner wine, which I liked a lot.

saison cheese, honey & almond. love almond and honey flavors too

preserved citrus


i forget what kind of ice cream it was

macaroons and other sweets

 hbd sw 😀

popcorn ice cream


At the end, we were given a menu of what was served. I especially appreciated this because I love keeping menus as momentos.It was fun to see the food prepared right before our eyes, and to be able to interact with both the sommelier and the chef. I remember asking what would be served, and was told that “Josh likes to think keep things open and will sometimes just make up dishes on the spot depending on what he feels like.” Wow! Even he doesn’t know!

Such a memorable dinner, not to mention all of the great, creative dishes that took us on a culinary journey.

Saison recently moved to a new location in SOMA which is exciting. I’m curious to see their new space and if there is a new take on food. We will definitely have to go back again soon and say hi to my buddy Josh!


One thought on “saison

  1. Pingback: saison X 2 | iheartfood

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