SNAKSHOT: Greens is Golden

fort mason san francisco bay marina district
Kuentz-Bas Blanc Alsace 2005 Domaine Catherine La Goeuil Cuvée Léa Flesch Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne
acme bakery ferry building embarcadero
The tag for this post should be "Foodbloggers' Guide to the Globe" because anyblogger who's been to San Francisco's Greens would nominate it a top taste of the city.

Never mind that everyone's meal also comes with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And without being overly scientific above it, Greens' wine list was the most welcoming experience of my two weeks in California. It presents a host of food-friendly wines from all over served by the glass and with reasonable prices on bottles, and half-bottles too -- which is what a solo diner like me went with, after a glass of Kuentz-Bas Blanc Alsace 2005, which being a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Riesling, was a beautiful way to support the blood orange salad starter.

Everything was delicious, perfect, heavenly. Including my server, Cher, who helped when I balked at finishing the last portions remaining of the Domaine Catherine La Goeuil Cuvée Léa Flesch Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne 2005. It was made for the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes -- skewers of mushrooms, peppers, garnet yams, fennel, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and marinated tofu with charmoula, served on cherry-pistachio couscous.

And that the golden crusty bread they serve is always from The Acme Bread Company, which is far and away the best bakery in the city.

The place is without fault. You can approach the menu blindfolded -- it's all that good.

Just don't ask for meat 'cause they don't have any.


David McDuff said...

Sounds great, Marcus. I'll have to remember this for my next trip to San Fran, especially as my wife is a vegetarian. (I think she may have been to Greens before...).

How was the Cairanne? I sold it several years ago but it came and went so quickly that I have only faint recollections of its character.

Marcus said...

Hi David,

So many restaurants in California were magnificent -- a direct outcome of their multiple growing seasons in many cases.

Greens excelled at this. It was the best of the best that I tried (and I ate out about two times daily).

Cafe Chloe in San Diego (which was recommended to me by BrooklynGuy) was also phenomenal. They are not vegetarian and I might be posting more about them as soon as I have a moment.

The Cairanne was enjoyable. I recall a simple but effective attack, marked by typical licorice and berry flavours... Brambly. Refreshing and amiable, not too complex or heavy. But I didn't take notes. At the time, it just seemed like the perfect late afternoon meal wine, especially with the grilled kabobs.

Brooklynguy said...

hey dok - sounds like fun. so psyched that you liked cafe chloe, too. can't wait to read about your experience there. we're going back to SD in august, and hopefully we'll try some new places. i just had that alsace blanc last night as part of a "potential wines for my friend's wedding" tasting. i liked it more than everyone else there. such nice minerality to go with the flowers. i was told that the main grape (40%) in the blend is sylvaner, by the way. could be wrongo. and that there's 10% muscat too. interesting blend, if it's true.

Marcus said...

Wow, great comment. Now I search to find this on the defunct Winewaves blog from last September: 60% Sylvaner, 15% Muscat, 15% Auxerrois and 10% Chasselas. Fantastic!

I'm not entirely surprised I was told it was other grapes because I was also warned when I ordered it that it was sweet. It's not sweet.

But what Greens servers may lack in sommelier skills they made up for in enthusiasm. The server who attended to me for most of my meal was set to embark on a French wine adventure in May and when the Rhône red came out I offered her a taste. Good times.

Neil, I am so happy you noticed my comment on your blog post about Cafe Chloe. I practically lived there while in San Diego it was so close to my conference (I was not expecting it to be in the vicinity). And I repeatedly thought what would Neil order, only to find that everything is given 100% attention -- a real class act. I do plan a post but have already spent lots of time toiling away on a "video" that I uploaded to Facebook which entirely unfolds from my cafe chair. If you're on Facebook, friend me and you can see it on my profile. Ah, memories.

Kelly said...

Mmmmm, I'm putting this restaurant on my wishlist.

BTW, Marcus, I urge you to suspend your boycott of California wine and try the Mirassou Pinot Noir. It retails for $17 in BC. I think it's amazing value, and I would love to know your opinion of it.

Marcus said...

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm all ears, especially for anything under $20 that does a weeknight meal justice. I used to drink a Mondavi Pinot Noir from the Central Coast, because it was the only reliable pinot for those interested in exploring the grape (French examples at the time were mostly prohibitively priced -- funny how now I've found that has mostly changed, though the Mondavi is still under $20... Perhaps I should revisit it.)

I'll have to try something because Mirassou is not available in Quebec. Is it Central Coast too? That might explain the good value. I will keep my eyes peeled on my travels.

How's the new writing gig going?