Dave Bullock / eecue

photographer, engineering leader, nerd

La Folie

Last night was our final dining experience in San Francisco, and as it turns out we saved the best for last. On the drive up to SF we asked for recommendations via chowhound, and recommendations we received. For our French restaurant we ended up choosing La Folie and we were extremely satisfied.

Read the rest after the jump.

We arrived a few minutes late, but thankfully it was a weeknight, and although three quarters of the tables were full, we were not given any static by the hostess due to our tardiness. After taking our coats and bags, the hostess sat us at a nice corner table next to a window and beside a couple celebrating a birthday. The birthday couple ended up being the only slight annoyance as they took about 20 flash photos of their food and each other, but hey it was a special day for them.

We opted to start with a half bottle of Philipponnant champagne that reminded us of a carbonated port, which the sommelier promptly delivered to our table, and deftly opened without a sound. Soon after our toast the amuse buche of lobster risotto with a parmesan crisp was brought to our table. The risotto had a nice flavor, although I did get a piece of lobster shell in mine. I would say that the amuse buche was the least impressive item we consumed.

I ordered the 5 course meal, and Penelope the 3 course. Our first courses came out at the same time and the 2 courses I had that she didn't were delivered with a dish for her to share, very considerate of our waiter Caley. I had read some bad reviews on Chowhound about the wait staff not being polite or speaking English, but Caley was an excellent server and spoke English with no accent, not that we care about the spoken dialect of our waiter.

My first course was a duck consumee, with tiny slices of roasted duck, enoki mushrooms and a single foie gras stuffed tortelloni. It was quite good, very light and a wonderful starter. Penelope had a baked day boat scallops with shrimp soufle atop a delictable mound of pureed Jerusalem artichokes. As usual we split our plates at the halfway point.

At this point our champagne was imbibed and we moved on to a half bottle of Langoa Barton Bordeaux which was full bodied and velvety. The red came just in time for my seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which was the largest most buttery and delicious piece of foie gras I have ever eaten. Penelope is not normally a fan of organ meats, but she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next up was my Lobster, which I think may have actually been crawfish as it was about that size, with Pork belly and baby vegetables. Despite its tiny size it was delicious and flavorful and the pork belly was wonderful and smoky. The broth which I scooped up with my fish knife was complex and rich.

Our main courses arrived in unison, Penelope had the Veal Loin with a Chanterelle and Sweetbread Crepinette with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts (I refrained from making my famous baby mooing sounds), and I had "Le Boeuf", Beef Tenderloin, Braised Beef Short Rib, and Burger Rossini with a Truffle Madeira Sauce. The waiter reccomended that I start with the burger, as I would want to savor the short rib and tenderloin. I followed his advice and started with the wonderfully cute foie gras stuffed mini burger which was excellent, and finished with the short rib and tenderloin which were both heavenly. Penelope's veal was amazing and I especially loved the sweetbreads which where like a layer of rich pate.

For desert I opted for the cheese plate and penelope went for the chocolate fondant. The cheeses were excellent and the fondant was amazingly delicious. We complimented or deserts with a glass of mapley Cockburn tawny port and a glass of Layon desert wine, that tasted of summer and apricots.

La Folie was our favorite dining experience in San Francisco and we look forward to a return visit in the future.