So I got sent to San Francisco for work and I always make a habit of visiting the best restaurants when I travel. I’m not well-off by any means – I’m a college student. But I love good food and I save up for this shit. So please enjoy living vicariously through these photos of my dinner for 1 at Saison. This was, no joke, the most heavenly tea I’ve ever had in my life and could quite cheerfully drink this every day until I died. It was only supposed to accompany one course but I requested that it be replenished throughout the evening. All 4 hours of it. Each little bushel had douglas fir, yarrow, chamomile, lemon balm, anise and hyssop all picked fresh from the restaurant farm and steeped in hot meyer lemon water. Damn delightful.
Up next, baby spinach, roasted kelp cooked in clarified butter (compliments of their jersey cow Bella) and topped with proprietary caviar – some specific type that you can only have there. Can’t tell you how buttery and melty this all was. Even though all the textures were super different, they came together so smoothly.
Turbot fish – 2 ways. Sashimi was amazing. I don’t want to sound like an idiot using stupid gastronomic buzzwords, but the “mouthfeel” (nerrrrr) was like the most tender, buttery squid you’ve ever had in your life. I shed tears knowing that I’d peaked and would never experience better raw fish after this moment. The second preparation was grilled with a light soy glaze. Came with little heirloom tomatoes and some sort of deepfried flower. Was nice.
This damn thing is called a Geoduck. If you’ve never heard of them before, Google it. They are freaky looking af. Honestly, it wasn’t that good. Just kind of chewy and the marinade was super overwhelming I couldn’t actually taste the meat. This is actually 3 separate parts of the clam – the siphon (the freakish long, sticky-outty part of the clam), the abductor muscle and I think the inside bit. Seriously… look at it. http://www.seriouseats.com/images/2015/05/05062105-tomky-geoduck-adult.jpg
This was, hands down, my favourite course. Fresh sea urchin (uni) on grilled bread that was basted in a sauce made of the offcuts of the bread. Like a bread confit.. Idk – it was awesome. I’ve never had sea urchin before, it was SUPER creamy.. like the butter of the sea. So amazingly fresh and the sauce in the bread was incredible. Definitely my favourite.
They used every part of the radish to make this dish. That’s sliced radish on top (again from their farm) with Bella’s clarified butter.
Underneath there was a sort of radish jelly vinegar reduction, the radish tops and cubes of marinated radish. It was actually super fresh and tart and a really good transition from the richness of the previous course.
This is roasted pumpkin – 3 ways. The first to the left is kind of like agedashi tofu except it’s torn roast pumpkin topped with octopus flakes. Was actually super nice.
Second preparation was pumpkin hung over their in-house fire and slow roasted for like 8 hours with a buttermilk cream. Caramelisation was incredible.
Not sure about this one. Pumpkin puree in cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil. It felt like it was kind of added as an afterthought and was way too salty. I’m not even sure how I was supposed to eat it.
This is antelope. It came with stuffed radicchio, herb salad and really nice biscuits and honey butter that tasted like pancakes.
Objectively, I’m sure it was nice. It was well-seasoned and had the texture of a cross between venison and beef and was perfectly medium-rare. Melt-in-your-mouth-melt-your-heart amazing. The fact that it was sourced from a ranch in Texas did nothing to abate my Lion King flashbacks and my childhood sentimentality got in the way of really being able to enjoy this one.
God make it stop. Antelope bone broth with sage. It was actually really nice, but I needed to move on from Bambi’s relatives.
Dessert, yes. The best part. This is smoked ice cream. Don’t ask me the science behind how one smokes ice cream – but it’s got something to do incorporating exotic wood embers into the cream. So incredible though, and came with life-changing salted caramel.
And accompanying assortment of candied toppings (walnuts, peanuts, cacao nibs and pine nuts).
Praise Jesus, my palette has been blessed. Amen.
Orange buttermilk creamsicle.
Super smooth, really creamy and had hidden segments of candied oranges at the bottom. I’ll confess, I’d been eating for like 3 and a half hours at this point and picked through the ice cream to get to the wedges. I felt bad, but I was barely halfway through the dessert portion of the menu and was already on struggle street.
Blueberry sorbet on top of brandy macerated blueberries. Topped with more brandy. Good if you like brandy. I don’t.
The Saison “Snickers” bar.
This is an off-menu item that comes if you befriend the right waiter and mention you have a penchant for desserts. Some sort of dark chocolate and nut brownie base, salted caramel centre, chocolate ganache and topped with 24K gold – because why not do that when you’re the second most expensive restaurant in the country.