AK’s co-worker LH graciously invited us to dinner to his house in San Francisco last Saturday night. We were very excited to taste his food, since he is an avid cook who actually made it through two rounds of try-outs for the Hell’s Kitchen TV show.
Upon arriving, we were immediately shown the large pile of cocktail shrimp and the mound of smoked salmon. I’m usually not a huge fan of smoked salmon, but this version was “cured” at home!!! It was extremely flavorful without being too salty. I had several large pieces, which I later regretted due to the large quantity of gourmet food coming my way (unbeknownst to me at the time).
When we walked over to the beautiful dining table, a list of our dinner courses was already printed out and displayed amidst the formal table setting with fine china and silverware.
Check out the amazing menu!
- Puree of Cauliflower Soup
- Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons (Tableside Service)
- Braised Short Rib in Red Wine Sauce with Gorgonzola Polenta
- Creme Caramel
- Homemade Ice Cream
- Assortment of Homemade Cookies
Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera, so these photos are all from my cell phone (so the resolution is not as good):
We stuffed ourselves with the delicious food. Each dish was so amazing – I felt like I was dining at a 5-star restaurant! In particular, I loved the creme caramel (also known as flan) – it really reminded me of childhood, when my mom or my aunt would make this great dessert at home and the warm aroma of the caramel would fill the house. (Yes, I was having a childhood flashback similar to the critic in Ratatouille, although I’m definitely not as mean).
AK and I had brought over what we thought as a nice bottle of wine. However, we did not know that the host and hostess (as well as the other invited couple) were big wine aficionados (the hostess had worked for several wineries in Napa and were on certain exclusive small vintage lists). We were so embarrassed after seeing their wine line-up and really wanted to retrieve our quite ordinary bottle. 😦 But instead we stayed quiet and drank away. Actually, the group as a whole drank quite heavily (haha – that’s what you get when you have a group dominated by lawyers). During the cocktail hour, we had already gone through two bottles of champagne, during dinner, another four bottles of red wine, plus a a bottle of ice wine as digestif. Each bottle that was opened was simply delicious!!! Almost all of them were very expensive (some $100-plus!!!) and were carefully pulled from their private cellar. For those of you who are into wine, here is what we had (I forgot the name of one of the two champagnes):
- Delamotte Brut
- Turley 2004 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard (apparently a cult favorite!)
- Peter Michael Winery 2002 “La Carrière”
- Ridge 1990 York Creek California Merlot
- Ridge 1997 Pagani Ranch California Zinfandel
- Dolce 2002 Napa Valley Late Harvest Wine (ice wine)
After dinner, the two rabbits, Jack and Gabby, came indoors from the backyard for the night. They immediately started chomping on the carrot tops brought by the other guests.
It was a wonderful night with amazing food, great wine and even better company. We had interesting and stimulating conversation with the host couple as well as the other guests, although there were definitely times when we felt slightly overwhelmed (especially during wine-related discussion). It was a ton of fun, and AK and I can only hope that one day we will be able to pull off something so extraordinary!