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Reply to "San Francisco Dining Impressions"

I went to Charles Nob Hill last night. The restaurant was about half full. Charles is located at the corner of Clay and Jones in Nob Hill. Charles is a small restaurant consisting of two rooms. The front room is smaller and seats about 20. The back room seats 30 or so and is decorated in more somber tones than the front room. I prefer dining in the back room.

Valet parking is available and is a must ($8). Corkage is $25 (and the restaurant does not waive the fee if one buys a bottle off of the list - I am really not a fan of that practice). The wine list lots of rare finds and is not any more over priced the other restaurants of this level (for example, it is much cheaper then Danko's which imo is obscene). More half bottles especially of whites is needed however.

The nine course tasting menu is recommended if one has the time. Cost is $100 and worth it. Each diner gets a different course thus for a table of two you get 18 courses. Since it was a school night, we ordered a la carte. Main course prices have been reduced. Most entrees ar now between $28 and $32. Appetizers are mainly in the $15 to $20 range.

Amuse bouche was a (served way too hot) demitasse of very rich porcini mushroom and lobster broth. Cream of white asparagus with purple aspargus and parmegiano reggiano shavings was executed extremely well ($10). Getting to taste more than a half spoonful was impossible thus my companion thought the soup was excellent as well. I started with butter poached lobster in an english pea emulsion ($20). The lobster was perfection and further solidifies my feelings that the best way to prepare and serve lobster is via butter poaching. A main course of tuna and puy lentils was hearty and perfectly prepared ($32) but lacked a little excitement especially when compared to the other main course - Lamb. The lamb ($40) came to the table prepred in four ways - pasta was stuffed with braised lamb and truffles, two baby lamb chops were perched on arugula, tenderloin, and a tbone. Simply magnificent and it is tough to imagine a better lamb course that I have had recently.

Cheese plate was well done at reasonable at $12. Three cheeses came with individual accompaniements to highlight aspects of the cheese. Humboldt Fog (a great cheese but in danger of becoming almost cliche), red hawk, and magnum were what was available last evening. I

Overall, a fantastic dining experience in a elegant room where one can actually hear themselves think. Highly recommended.

[ 05-31-2002, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
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