Ame, San Francisco 2
January 29, 2008
We had enjoyed ourselves so much the night before that Linda and I returned to Ame for dinner on January 27, 2008. We ordered glasses of the Aubry Champagne. It was toasty and good. We ordered a bottle of the 2005 Bonaccorsi “Melville Vineyard” (Santa Rita Hills) Pinot Noir. It is a very good wine, but needs more time in the bottle and the decanter.
Linda started with Lissa’s Staff Meal with Cuttlefish Noodles, Quail Egg, Sea Urchin, Wasabi and Umami Soy Sauce. The egg was poured over the plentiful sea urchin; the combination was excellent.
My first course was the Grilled Octopus with New Potatoes, Forest Mushrooms and Parsley Garlic Butter Sauce.
Linda’s main course was the Linguine with Dungeness Crab “Crabonara.”
Mine was the Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek with Crispy Sweetbreads, Spinach-Ricotta Rotolo and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce.
Ordering a la carte provides a quite different experience of Ame from what we had had the night before with the tasting menu. Our two main courses were quite plentiful. Linda’s was light and elegant; mine was very rich. As the first courses came right away, we drank our generous glasses of champagne with them. We thought we would need to order the cheese plate to be able to enjoy our bottle of Pinot Noir. But it took us so long to finish the excellent braised beef that the wine was gone when the beef was.
The “crabonara” is a signature dish of the chef, but it didn’t share any characteristics with carbonara except the cream (and maybe chile flakes which Linda asked to be omitted and which many of us do not use in making our spaghetti carbonara either.) We enjoyed ourselves, but I suggest the tasting menu or choosing smaller plates from the front of the menu.
Surprisingly to me, considering how much we like Ame, it was less than half full on this rainy Sunday evening and many seemed to be staying at the St. Regis Hotel where it is located.