In Los Angeles, I found my dining crew. These were the people that never raised an eyebrow when my plate was photographed from multiple angles prior to being tasted. The same people that would never gasp at my need to have a cocktail, appetizer and dessert with every entree. These dining companions were comprised of food bloggers, Twits that like TwEAT Ups, Yelpers, and all around foodies. Friendships are fantastic but people to share reservations with are just as good. I was told very early on that food bloggers in SF didn’t have the same traditions. Blame it on the minimal PR dinners and the recipe bloggers versus restaurant bloggers in San Francisco. Anyway, the day on Twitter that we organized a food blogger and twEATer dinner was very exciting for me. I think I even marked the occasion with a hashtag saying #incestsurvivor in regards to making the SF food blogging community as close as the LA one. When choosing the restaurant for this very special occasion, I went back to a great LA find: Blackboard Eats. These 30% off codes at the hottest restaurants in town were almost always present at our blogger dinners and I made it an invitee at the SF version. I believe it was the day that I moved to San Francisco that Blackboard Eats San Francisco launched, am I lucky girl or what? We all decided on the restaurant Serpentine because none of us had ever been there and we had a valid BBE code.
I was the first to arrive and I ordered a cocktail, the Whiskey Smash, both excited and nervous to be joined by a table full of foodies. The second guest to arrive was The Dapper Diner, who has become my local #1 dining companion. The third was Tao of Pao who is an awesome food writer, runner, and burger enthusiast. And lastly was Kels Eats who covers Californian cuisine and is a self-described goat butter addict. We had all the pieces of the puzzle and in correct foodie fashion we all got started with a cocktail, appetizer, and entree to share amongst the table.
Well, I was never one to follow rules too correctly so on top of my regular appetizer I also ordered the Assortment of Pickled Vegetables. I am a sucker for anything acidic, remember I am the girl who has the dream of having the most extensive vinegar cellar in my home. The yogurt honey and pepper dip cut the vinegar perfectly and the veggies were nice and cool with that perfect crunch. I was so excited about this dish that I demanded that everyone try the cauliflower or the beet. It is always in these foodie setting where I feel most comfortable. When I say that I have always wanted to take a pickling class I get an understanding nod from across the table, I am not alone in my weirdness.
The other real joy in dining with nothing but foodies at your table is that you get to try it all. Both the Chickpea Battered Calamari and the Serpentine Meat Board were things that I want to try but they weren’t on my short list. With the help of more diners and people with big appetites, I was able to have it all. Some of the highlights on the meat board were the duck prosciutto and the pork pate.
The appetizer that I had my heart set on from the start was the O’Henry Peach & July Red Nectarine Salad with house-cured pancetta, mint, toasted hazelnuts, elderflowers, and champagne vinaigrette. It was the perfect summer salad and I was happiest that this plate was closest to me.
If there is one thing about SF dining it is that, it is all seasonal and local so it is more than common to see the same dishes on many menus. The Dapper Dinner and I were happy to see our new friends Blistered Padron Peppers on the menu. They are currently featured in nearly every restaurant I have entered recently. Each time I have to eyeball them for awhile, gain courage, close my eyes and take a bite and then utter, “That’s not too bad (spicy) at all.”
My final cocktail of the night was the Kentucky Buck and let me just say that their version blows Rickhouse out of the house.
When it came to entrees Dapper Dinner had the Harissa Rubbed Sonoma Goat Shoulder Roulade and the two girls had the Prather Ranch Hamburger. The burger was extremely memorable and for me it was all about the pickled onions and the delicious Acme roll.
For my entree I had the Grilled California White Bass, which was served with corn, almonds and a basil pistou. It was light, fresh, and even minty. Do certain tastes bring up certain people for you? For me, for obvious reasons whenever I eat mint or drink mint tea (which is daily) I always think of The Minty. She is my LA food baller/crawler team captain. This meal was days before her arrival to SF to visit me and it set the tone in reminding me how lovely it is to dine with foodies. I actually just returned from my own visit to LA where I got to dine at the newly opened Test Kitchen LA, which is probably the coolest concept restaurant ever. Chefs get to come in and takeover a space for a night or a few days and do whatever they like. The night that I went with the Minty I was overwhelmed by just how many people I knew in the restaurant. Food bloggers, restaurant owners, bartenders, foodies and more united. The excitement was palpable, the LA foodie community is tight as hell and we are family. I don’t have this yet in SF but I will make it my Mission Fruition because dining with foodies is just more fun. Serpentine has the motto: Honest Food, Classic Cocktails. For me, that is a perfect formula for bringing people (mainly foodies) together.
2495 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107