Thursday, January 22, 2004

Ate at Foreign Cinema last night for the SF Dine About Town program. It's in the Mission. We ate inside, by the fireplace and a group of Japanese Mafia types instead of outside under the plastic tent and the huge projected movie playing on the back wall.

Wheat and white bread (the white was better). Not as crusty and delicious as at Buckeye's, but still very good.

Fromage d'Affinois with potatoes, roasted garlic puree, and bay leaf--a delicious heap of melted cheese (with a rind, somewhat Brie-like) with a few potatoes and about a teaspoon of roasted garlic. It was good, but I wished there was a bit more balance between cheese and potatoes.
Grilled squid with harissa, cilantro, and toasted almonds--a tiny portion. The squid was grilled to just the right meaty consistency, not tough at all. The combination of flavors was nice and interesting, although the harissa seemed more like a romesco, not the fiery paste Patty remembered from Libya.
Chicory salad with apples, walnuts, and blue cheese dressing--unexceptional, but good. A mixture of somewhat large pieces of purple endive and icebergy, flat chicory.

Curried chicken with bacon vinaigrette--by far the most generous portion, almost too much meat. It was moist and tender, but didn't taste much like curry. It was served with what looked like tiny wilted bits of romaine lettuce and a thin bed of mashed potatoes.
Roasted duck breast--rich little slices of moist duck meat rimmed in fat and intense, herb-crusted skin. Served on a bed of polenta. The sauce had unidentifiable little brown bits in it--looked like raisins but crumbled more like those brown bits inside a roasted chicken. Served with a little bruschetta toast with something brown on it (liver?) It was in some kind of wine sauce, I think.
Salmon with butternut squash puree--the salmon was cooked to the perfect degree, but unexceptional. The squash was delicious, probably from large amounts of butter. The salmon was dressed with a green sauce on one side--looked like pureed peas with little bits of onion in it, but I don't know what it really was.

Grapefruit and blood orange granitas--Dad couldn't have much of the grapefruit because it reacts with his medications, but the grapefruit granita was the better of the two, very intense and clean-tasting. The granita kept hitting my crown and making me jump from the cold. Ours had the grapefruit piled on top of the blood orange in a martini glass, but a much prettier one at another table had them side by side, so you could see the contrast between the deep red and the pale orange.
Ginger cake with orange and caramel sauce--Good, though I was very full by this time and couldn't eat much. Reminded me of Sarah's lebkuchen.
Cannoli--disappointing. The cannoli was tiny and bland--the ricotta was like wallpaper paste, the candied fruits were colorless and flavorless instead of sparkling and sharp and sweet.

We also had a glass of nice red wine--Cabernet-Syrah blend or something.

Patty recommended a Searidge Merlot to me from the Chron's top 100 wines list--$3, she said. I'll have to try it.

Raise the Red Lantern was playing on the screen outside, in washed-out colors.

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