Tuesday, November 25

Tuesday Review: Range

My posts have been rather sporadic as of late, as you may have noticed. I seem to have gotten a) overcommitted, and b) involved with a very nice lady, hence a predictable lack of blogging time. I additionally seem to be entering some sort of unexpected cooking hibernation, and I'm honestly not putting up much of a fight. However, ladyfriend and I have been exploring the gastronomic options throughout San Francisco and she recently had the brilliant suggestion to post lurid details about our adventures here. Thus: Tuesday restaurant reviews.

Last night we struck out to Range. I've been eyeing Range since I first moved to the Mission, and passed Range every day on my way to yoga. I sensed that they had particularly inveigling culinary delights to share, but I needed the appropriate occasion and dining partner to venture out.

I was so right. The atmosphere is warm, home-y, and inviting -- plenty of dark wood and brushed silver, pleasant lighting, and perfect acoustics for dinner conversation. We started with the Quercus Harmonia Pinot Noir 2007 since ladyfriend was looking for something sweet and light, and the Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone 2006 on the server's recommendation, since I was leaning towards something earthy. We subsequently swapped wines but both were excellent, with a mutual pleasant dustiness that complemented the autumnal flavors of our meal.

The menu looked lovely, but since we have a host of dietary restrictions between us (gluten-intolerant, loosely lactose-intolerant, pescatarian) we selected an array of appetizers. We were hesitant to order the barley-vegetable soup with gruyere croutons, but we weren't disappointed: it was fantastically seasoned and chock full of greens and root vegetables. The Bartlett pears with arugula, celery root, goat cheese, and hazelnuts were the real star for me, showcasing a melange of flavors that synchronized beautifully against the backdrop of rosemary vinaigrette.

For our next course we shared the raw California Yellowtail with pickled beets, meyer lemon, and tarragon which was...a disappointment. Ladyfriend insists the cut of fish was sub-par, and I didn't particularly care for the preparation. Fortunately the sweet-potato-stuffed pasta with sage, lemon, and pecans made up for it -- the lemon in particular added a lovely bracing quality against the sweet heaviness of the wintry fillings.

For dessert we chose the bittersweet chocolate espresso souffle with cinnamon-caramel swirl ice cream, paired with Ottimino Zinfandel 2005 and the Taylor Fladgate late bottled vintage port 2000, and every single one of those flavors worked together so incredibly well. Port and chocolate have to be one of my favorite decadent combinations, and I give Sam the server major props for pushing me that direction.

Ladyfriend additionally notes the excellent service and lovely food presentation, for an overall score of 9.0 (our highest yet; retroactive restaurant reviews to come). I loved it all that and a little more for a 9.1.

A question for you, kind readers: what do you think about taking cameras into restaurants? I know certain New York establishments have banned photography at the table, and I do feel disgustingly overt/tacky/touristy/amateur whipping out my little Sony Cybershot before each course. But, I know that reviews with a view are significantly superior. Thoughts?

1 comment:

pb said...

camera phone. most these days aren't half bad. and circumvent the whole touristy/tacky feeling .. sortve...


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