Thursday, February 02, 2006

Good Food + Sexy Bathroom = Côté Sud

It's Dine About Town season in San Francisco, which means you can get a $40 meal for about $25-$30 or so. It's a great deal, if you're willing to drive or cab it to one of the many trendy places about town. With the holiday season over and winter being as it is in SF -- cold(er) and rainy -- this is a great time to sample restaurants that you'd ordinarily pass up.

This time around, Côté Sud was the restaurant of choice. I went with Stephen (he is friend from old, yes) and Nicole (who, in addition to being chatty, down to earth, and really cool is a news journalist. She has some really cool stories from her time as a peon/beat reporter, interviewing all sorts of random people, both sketchy and non-sketchy. She also reads Romanesko. Awesome.) Joyce couldn't make it. She was sick (boo...).

The first thing that struck me about Côté Sud as I walked in was the fact that the only apparent entrance to the place was a tall, narrow staircase that led to the second floor of what appeared to be a converted Victorian house. (Disabled peoples of the world, weep in anguish. For as far as I know, you have no means of accessing this happy little dungeon of culinary delights.)

Once inside, about 30 candlelit dinner tables and one very thin, very VERY French waiter greeted us. We were seated immediately at the balcony, which was shielded from the elements by a canopy/plastic sheeting.... type..... thing.

Of course, the food. First course for me was the foie gras terrine:

Foie gras terrine

This was my first exposure to foie gras that I could remember. It tasted remarkably cheesy, not as liver-ish as I expected, which surprised me. Decadent.

I did not, however, eat the liver with fava beans and a nice chianti.


Cod and Potato
Stephen ordered this one for an appetizer. Very solid.

Salmon Marinated in Honey and Mint
Very nice. Very nice.

Chilean Sea Bass with Purple Fingerling Potatoes

This was my dish. The sea bass was cooked to perfection. The skin was crispy and the fish feather-light. The potatoes, however, were very disappointing. They tasted very watery and pretty much crumbled upon forking. No body. The sauce was pretty good though.

Duck Breast in Raspberry Sauce
Those Frenchies really know how to make their duck. A solid entree.

Pan seared Ahi tuna served with a puree of parsnips and a coulis of tomatoes basquaise

And then of course, I had to do the ugly American thing and order Pommes Frites.

Gawd. But in my defense, I wanted to see how well they handled deep-fry. Plus, I was pretty tipsy off my one glass of wine, and fries sounded really really good at the time. The fries came out crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. They did not taste greasy at all. Pretty good, actually.

We ordered 3 desserts as well; creme brulee, poached pear in cinnamon and port sauce, and a chocolate lava cake. I didn't take pictures, unfortunately.

But here's something that I DID remember to take a photo of: after the last course, I went to wash my hands, refresh myself, and to see how red I was turning. I opened the restroom door and this sight graced my bespectacled eyes:

The world's sexiest restaurant bathroom

Illuminated entirely by votive candles and delicately scented with potpourri, this bathroom elevates the spontaneous restaurant bathroom hookup from "trashy" to "still kinda trashy but tastefully executed." The restroom is a he/she restroom, and the only one on the premises. This means only two things:
  1. No interruptions
  2. A long line of angry diners, all doing the pee-pee dance.
Overall, the three of us had an awesome time at Côté Sud. We talked and laughed the entire time. At one point, I felt that we were being a little too loud but no one at the other tables complained at all. Besides, with my schedule these days, I'll take any chance I can get to spend time with old friends and meet new ones.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger starchmouse said...

Dine about town totally crept up on me this year. I had a so-so meal at Frisson and an amazing one at Rubicon. I gotta say though, the bathroom at Frisson was pretty sexy too. Not in a no-interruptions way, just aesthetically....


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