let’s start with friday night…

Hello..so where I last left off, I really didn’t have any plans for the weekend..

Well it’s been in the works, but SW was offered a new job on Friday!  How exciting, right?!  You know what that means!!  Time for a celebratory dinner.  We went onto OpenTable to see what was available for that night and Acquerello (www.acquerello.com) had a seating.  I’m less familiar with this restaurant, but have seen it numerous times on several OpenTable lists, ie Best Overall, Best Ambiance, Best Service, etc…  I’d categorized it as the Italian version of Gary Danko, La Folie, Fleur de Lys.  All others we’ve both been to, so might as well try this one too!
The ambiance definitely had an older conservative feel, but I guess this could expected being that it’s located in the Russian Hill area.  SW upped his normal dining attire to a tucked in pressed shirt, and still felt underdressed because almost everyone was wearing a suit jacket.  I told him, no biggie!  I thought we were dressed appropriately enough for our age.  They seated us at a table that had a view of the entire dining room, but side by side.  It was kind of funny…it felt like a sweetheart table at a wedding.
this plate is so pretty..its pattern reminds me of something else 😛
Upon seating, we were served a chilled grapefruit & vermouth shot.  I was surprised that they served something with alcohol…I guess it’s a good way to start!
Soon after came the amuse bouche which was a warm little puff pastry and a little fried ball (LOL I guess I’m having the same moment as our server at Aslam’s Rasoi).  These were yummy little small bites.
We decided against the tasting menu…one of the mains was a lamb dish, and no matter how hard I try to give lamb a shot..I can always taste its gameyness every time, even when people say, ‘You won’t taste it with this lamb, it’s special lamb’. ha.  yeah right!  bleh.
So, we each decided to chose 4 courses from the regular menu
After picking out what we were going to have, the sommelier recommended a wine for us, which SW really liked.  Sometimes I’ll jot down wines that are good on my phone, but then completely forget when or where we had it…Good thing, we have a picture to remember what it is now and where we enjoyed it.
I am a pho fanatic..so I just had to try the Italian Pho:  duck broth, cured duck breast, tagliolini, toasted farro,  and Napa Cabbage.  I thought this dish was okay..it paled in comparison to SW’s appetizer
He got:  Poached ranch egg nested over creamy leeks with butter crumbs and fresh black truffles.  OMG..everything that I like!!!  gooey egg, trufflessssss, and crunchiness!  It was SOOOOO good.  The only thing it was missing was foie gras and caviar!  Kidding of course–then it would be way too decadent!  I felt bad because he kept giving me spoonfuls.  I had more then he did…
The picture doesn’t look that great..if anything, we were joking that the truffles looked like $h!t haha…and that maybe we would interchange the word truffle with $h!t from now on…’omg, i slipped and fell earlier and ate truffles!’ hah..okay, maybe that’s not that funny.  I never said I was a comedian!

Next came pastas:
I chose the Cuttlefish ‘tagliatelle’ with capers, chili flakes, lobster, and agretti.  This was an interesting dish as the tagliatelle was actually made of the cuttlefish.  I’ve never seen ‘pasta’ made entirely of a seafood.  It was good, but just a tad too many capers for my liking.  They added a bit too much saltiness to end of the dish.
SW chose the risotto.  On the menu, it didn’t look that appealing to me in all honesty.  It was probably because I just made risotto at home recently.  But, I’m glad he got it, because visually it was stunning to the eye.  Neither of us thought it would come out looking like this…
Orange-scented red beet risotto, blackberries, Mascarpone, and Juniper Balsamic vinegar

The dish was drizzled with 25 Yr old Balsamic Vinegar and was a complex mixture of flavors.  The berries added a sweetness, the balsamic vinegar added a tartness, and unfortunately (for me), the Mascarpone added a gameyness 😦  I can always taste it for some reason.  My ‘buds’ must be too good!  Even now looking at the photo, I really like the colors…

For entrees…I chose the walu (LOVE walu as sashimi at Japanese restaurants).  It soundedreally good especially with the accompaniments.
Pacific walu with Chanterelles, Yukon Gold potato purée, and black truffle
I thoroughly enjoyed my fish nuggets!  The fish was perfectly cooked and delicious.
SW also really liked his entree:  Berkshire pork loin, seared pork belly, prunes, and roasted baby fennel
For our 4th course, we decided that he would get the Cheese, described on the menu as “An unusual selection of Italian cheeses presented tableside” and I would get a desert.
First came the cheeses…
Then came my desert:  Orange-vanilla panna cotta with apricot gelée, Marcona almonds, pear and Teeccino granita
I think we both enjoyed the variety of the cheeses more.  Although I was really stuffed and could only have a few bites of the very well portioned panna cotta–look at it.  It was HUGE.   Normally we both  like big portions because we’re greedy 😀  but in this case…even we thought it was too much.
Lastly came the desert cart….even more deserts!
I knew I was not able to eat them, but I figured, our server would let me take them home, along with a little gift of biscotti to go…
congrats again to SW for his new job!  yay!  super excited and happy for him 😀

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