Lunch with the Michelin Guide went to Brasserie S & P.
Originally, we were going to go to Bocadillos. I had called Bocadillos a day ahead and told them I would like a reservation, but was told they only take reservations at dinner. So I told them we would be there the following day at 11:30 if that was a good time. The woman on the phone said that was a good time, but get there early because they fill up quickly. We arrived at 11:30 only to find a note taped to the door stating they were closed for a private party! You would think they would have said something about that over the phone the previous day. Strike 1 for Bocadillos! One of our group wanted to cross them off the list for that because we had to walk a distance in the cold. We’ll see if we make it back there… Fortunately, I had the Michelin guide with me so we skipped to the next restaurant that was close by.
Brasserie S & P is located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The Executive Chef is Adam Mali. When we arrived, the place was pretty empty and we asked John Burke, the Brasserie S&P Maitre’d if we could be seated. Reservations are recommended, but John was happy to accommodate us.
The menu was quite nice with something for everyone. The Michelin guide says to try the clam chowder (we didn’t try it) as well as the lamb sliders and Vietnamese pork burger. The sliders and pork burger are only available on the dinner menu.
Our server recommended the House Made Hot Apple Cider. Since it was a very cold day we each decided to try it. Served with a large stick of cinnamon and fresh apple slice, it was a big hit.
Some very delicious hot bread was brought out with butter and olive oil. It was a sourdough bread made with potato flour from Petaluma. Someone mentioned gluten free, but I’m sure there was some flour in the bread. There were some delicious herbs on top with large flecks of salt. The crust was crisp and the bread had a nice, chewy texture.
We ordered two appetizers to share. Roasted Baby Beets with baby arugula, fennel, Bellwether Pepato, a sheep milk cheese and Banyuls vinaigrette, an aged vinegar made with sweet wine from the Grenache grape and produced in Banyuls-sur-mer in southern France. The beets were sweet and had a good, firm texture, and were complemented by the cheese and Banyuls vinegar.
Our second appetizer was Liberty Farms Duck Liver pate. It is one of the chefs signature dishes and absolutely delicious. Served with red onion marmalade and Della Fattora Levain. We had an issue with some of the bread as it was badly burned. The pate was the kind that after it touches your tongue, you just sit back and close your eyes, savoring all the flavors. The onion, the bread, the pate – all of it was just so smooth and rich. Savory. Heaven.
For the entree, I ordered the Mary’s Chicken Paillard with anchovy garlic crust, Marcona almond pesto and Blue Lake green bean salad. There were also some delicious roasted vegetables on the side. Everyone said this was the best and tastiest entree. The chicken was tender, the crust was a blend of crispiness, crunch, and mild garlic. The vegetables were roasted to perfection.
Sandra and Maria ordered the Grilled Local Albacore Tuna with Romesco sauce and roasted cauliflower. It is served rare, and Maria requested slightly less than rare. Sandra’s arrived over-done, and dry, but Maria’s was cooked perfectly. The sauce was a delicious paring with the moist tuna.
Irise ordered the Bento Box – Napa cabbage slaw with miso vinaigrette, grilled soy glazed coho salmon, pickled vegetables, ginger brown rice with furikake (a Japanese condiment made with seaweed), and a TCHO Brownie and fruit.
The sauce on the salmon was sweet and a bit thick. The slaw was fresh, but the dressing was a little hard to detect. Irise enjoyed the pickled vegetables, which included a slice of persimmon. Since the brownie came with four pieces, we each had a small piece, which was the perfect ending to our lunch.