Our July Convivial Table took us to a little seafood gem smack in the Financial District: Georges. Seated in a special location below their impressive wine collection, our group of happy eaters enjoyed a menu by Chef Michael Bilger that included several items most of us had never had. Monkfish liver torchon, anybody? Tastes like the Foie Gras of the sea, amazing. And in case you’re wondering, Monkfish used to be listed under the “Avoid” category in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and has been re-categorized as a “Good Alternative”. Still not something you should eat everyday, but who would – and this dinner was all about “special”. The smoked Tagliatelle solicited many ooh’s and ahh’s and had us wondering HOW he does it (turns out the eggs and flour that go into this pasta are smoked separately beforehand in a most painstaking way). Razor clams from Maine are also a rarity in these parts, but we learned that farm-raised bivalves are a very sustainable way to “grow” seafood as they clean the water they use and farming them obviously doesn’t threaten any other species.
Large pieces of Arctic char served on braised lobster with mushrooms and a succotash left everyone so satisfied there hardly was room for dessert. Which was not to be missed: grilled peaches topped with a Riesling sabayon and goat cheese – a fascinating blend of sweet and salty.
Chef Michael Bilger cares deeply about the quality, origin and impact of the seafood her serves, and spoke to us about his inspirations, curiosities and where he goes to learn more. His food was innovative, delicious and the presentation impeccable. Wine pairing and service impressed, too – we can’t wait to be back.
On Tuesday, August 20th, Slow Food San Francisco will host another Convivial Table dinner, this time at Parallel 37, the new restaurant inside the Ritz Carlton. Learn more and get your tickets before we sell out!