Wednesday, November 19, 2008
John is the Birthday Boy
We started John's birthday celebration earlier than the actual day with a somewhat surprise dinner at the Hyde Street Bistro. I mean somewhat surprise because John and his brother (John is an identical twin, hence the double birthday celebration) both knew that there was a dinner and some friends were coming, they just didn't know the extent of it. And then when they were at their most favorite place in the world Shanghai Kelly's getting a beer before dinner and a couple of their friends rolled in I believe that the suspicion became stronger.
They walked into the restaurant accompanied by my self and Jeff's girlfriend Natalie, who set the whole thing up (thanks Nat!), and I believe they were both blown away. There was an entire wall of tables filled by their friends. It was was really fun to see the reaction, and of course to see everyone there. The tables were filled with blown up laminated photos of the boys through the years, some of which were pretty funny (my favorite is the picture of the two of them dressed up as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for a New Year's Eve costume party. They look indescribably funny. Those girls are so tiny and John and Jeff are about 6'5" wearing these tiny baby doll shirts with the names on them).
Natalie had set up a prix fix menu (check out the personalization above!) and I wanted to eat everything that was on it, but fortunately John, Alyssa and I decided to split everything that we ordered, or at least give each other bites. I ordered the house smoked salmon with capers, red onion, tomato, lemon and olive oil on toast. It was delicious. I am a particularly large fan of smoked salmon, lox, and any other type of salmon, so I was in heaven. And it was delicious. The salmon was perfect, the toast was crispy yet chewy, and I got to make my own little sandwiches to eat. John doesn't love smoked salmon like this, he prefers when it is cured to the texture that you typically find smoked trout, but oh well, more for me. I took a few bites of John's warm goat cheese salad and Alyssa's beet salad and would get those again too. I was quite pleased with our appetizers if you can't tell. We had a lovely red wine to wash all of this down and I wish that I could remember for the life of me what it was. Perhaps a Tempranillo? But I also remember it being Italian, so that makes no sense. Oh well. I really need to write this stuff down because I stare at labels and say, that's good, I should remember it, and then blip, it's gone.
For our main courses I had the ling cod with lemon tapenade, saffron rice pilaf, ratatouille, and spinach. John naturally got the hangar steak with french fries and I would never expect anything else from him, my boy likes his steak! I may have had a few of his french fries. Or half. Whatever. This second fish course was not as good as the first. I'm not sure why not, something just missed. All the ingredients seemed fresh and I know that that the food there is usually wonderful, so who knows. Sometimes people just have an off night, or maybe the recipe was lacking. But it was good enough to eat most of. We finished it off with dessert, with a candle in it naturally! I had Il Flotante, Floating Islands, one of my favorite traditional French desserts. Basically I like anything in creme anglaise so I was a happy girl!
Here we are happily celebrating!
And here are Jeff and Natalie holding down the fort on the other end of the table.
Hyde Street Bistro
1521 Hyde Street (between Pacific and Jackson)
San Francisco, Ca 94109