Georges is a small restaurant in the Financial District. It’s the former site of a gold-rush bank. We were warmly greeted by Evin, who took great care of us from start to finish.
Our first course was bread. Not soggy bread, but nice, fresh San Francisco bread. Bread with a chewy/crispy crust. Bread with a soft interior. Bread that is delicious with fresh creamy butter. Bread that makes you wish you didn’t have to order an entree and could just eat bread.
My friend Maria is watching out for me though. She is the voice of my conscience and she tells me to watch my bread. I stop eating the bread and take a look at the menu.
The menu at Georges is filled with fresh seafood, served in ways that accentuate the freshness of the sea. Raw oysters, Ceviche, Crudo, Gazpacho, and Soft Shell crab sandwiches demand freshness and Georges did not disappoint.
Wendy and I ordered the fresh tomato gazpacho, served with crab and avocado. It was like a cool, fresh picked and juicy summer tomato, condensed into bowl. The tangy tomato flavor coupled with the creamy avocado was so perfect on the tongue. Add to that a sweet, succulent crab, micro basil as a garnish, with a few drops of olive oil and you have will have a slight idea of just how good it was. If I had never tried this gazpacho, I would not have known what good gazpacho was.
We ordered two appetizers – the first was a Crudo of Albacore Tuna served with hearts of palm, garum, Bruce’s Olio Nuovo and Meyer Lemon. Crudo means “raw” in Italian and garum is a fermented fish sauce which has been prepared since Ancient Roman times. The thick slices of albacore with the crunch of the hearts of palm was a real treat. The meyer lemon rind added a gentle citrus flavor. We each had a piece of the crudo and the plate was consumed in a matter of moments.
Our second appetizer was the Line Caught Hawaiian Ono Ceviche which was a combination of citrus, diced cucumber, thinly sliced red onion and avocado was the big hit! A side of crisp tortilla chips topped with the ceviche was the perfect appetizer for us all. Ceviche is prepared by “cooking” raw fish using citrus juice. The enzymes in the citrus reacts with the fish and “cooks” the fish. It is sweet and tender and is a wonderful way to serve really fresh fish. Ceviche is an art – if you don’t marinate it long enough, the fish is raw; too long and the fish becomes chalky. Here’s a link if you want to learn more about Cheviche
For the entrees, we ordered the Idaho Trout, the soft shell crab sandwich, and the fish taco.
Irise and I had the Idaho trout which was served with buttermilk smashed potatoes, almond brown butter, and sauteed spinach. The trout was pan fried and cooked perfectly. The browned butter with almonds was crunchy, with a good, hearty flavor.The buttermilk smashed potatoes were full of flavor and texture with the right amount of saltiness, too! Chunky potatoes blended right in. The spinach was just like I like to make it at home.
Maria and Wendy ordered the Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with Remoulade, Pickled Green Tomatoes, Piquillo Pepper, BBQ Spice Potato Chips. Remoulade is similar to mayonnaise, but may sometimes have finely chopped pickles, anchovy, or capers so it’s more comparable to tartar sauce. The piquillo pepper was like a giant pimento. Served with house made BBQ potato chips. Wow! House made potato chips warm and spicy. This was a first for me – generally they’re just plain. Evin said they make them early in the day and the staff tries really hard to avoid eating them throughout the day!
Sandra ordered the Achiote Marinated Fish Tacos made with Grilled Mahi Mahi, Cumin-Lime Slaw, and Crema Cassera. The fish tacos were also served with guacamole and salsa on a hot tortilla. The tortilla was not fried, but pliable and soft. Heated on a very hot grill, the tortilla was allowed to blister, slightly, accentuating the corn flavors in the tortilla. The fish was not fried but grilled. Sandra liked the fish taco, but commented that it was not fried. I prefer my fish taco fried, too.
For dessert we ordered the Chocolate, Pistachio Chocolate Cremeux, Pistachio Financier, and Olive Oil Caramel. Such richness. The pistachio financier was a dense spice cake served with a scoop of pistachio ice cream. The ice cream was full of chopped pistachios and great pistachio flavor. Eaten with a bit of the chocolate cremeux (like a thick pudding or mousse) and a bit of the olive oil caramel was a burst of new flavors combined together. The olive oil caramel was similar in color and viscosity to honey. It was not too sweet at all and had a delicate flavor.
We also ordered the Citrus Semolina Zeppole served with a Warm Gianduia Ganache.
The citrus semolina zeppole were like small fried cake doughnuts dusted with sparkling granulated sugar and served warm. The Gianduia Ganache also had a sprinkling of crunchy maldon salt on the top. Gianduia could be compared with Nutella – a mixture of chocolate and about 30% hazelnut. Very rich and chocolatey, and complimented by the citrus flavor. Maldon salt comes from England, is hand harvested and is renowned for it crunchy, flaky texture. This was the favorite dessert for all of us!
We enjoyed our time at Georges and would come back again if not just to enjoy the chips and the zeppole!