Ame, San Francisco 3

April 22, 2014

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014, Linda and I returned for dinner to Ame, which we had appreciated at two meals four years before.

We ordered glasses of Chartogne-Taillet “Cuvée Sainte-Anne” Brut Champagne. We selected the Taste of Ame menu and chose a bottle of 2011 Sandhi “Sanford & Benedict” Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
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It was quite good; so much California wine is vinified to be drunk very young like this. Few California restaurant wine lists have bottles more than a few years old.

The amuse-gueule was an oyster with ponzu sauce and trout roe.
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Very briny; fortunately we still were drinking our Champagne.

The first course was
Dungeness Crab Salad with Hearts of Palm,
Baby Artichokes, Blood Orange
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Dungeness crab is one of the reasons we come to the west coast. Here it was flaked and served with mayonnaise underneath and just the right amount of appropriate garnishes.

Cauliflower and Spring Onion Soup
with Caviar,
Mitsuba, Smoked Sturgeon
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The fresh flavors  of the vegetables came through nicely. The caviar and smoked sturgeon, which you cannot see, made this interesting and the Japanese parsley added a visual accent.

Seared Hokkaido Scallops
Forbidden Rice, Santa Barbara Sea Urchin,
Meyer Lemon
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The large scallops were top quality, well seared on the top and bottom, and almost raw inside. The big glob of sea urchin added a supplemental flavor of the sea, perked up by a restrained amount of Meyer lemon. The black forbidden rice was substantial enough to provide a good base. Excellent.


Grilled New York Strip Steak
Crispy Sweetbreads,
Sunchoke Purée, Glazed Turnips
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The beef was top quality and nicely seared. The other ingredients were good matches, with different textures, well cooked and presented.


Linda’s dessert was
Huckleberry Pie
with Meyer Lemon Curd
and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
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She said that it was an excellent little pie of berries not often offered in a good crust.

My dessert was
Chocolate “Fudgesicle”
with Guava-Passion Fruit, Caramel
and Rose Water Almonds
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This was incredibly luscious and good with exotic fruits inside a thick layer of rich dark chocolate on top of caramel. mmm.

The service and pace were always good. The ambience is right for a quiet meal; the noise level is low. The modern dining room is divided into small sections with well spaced tables. There is an opening into the kitchen where one can watch the action.
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We were glad we had returned to Ame. It is not flashy or the trendiest restaurant around, but it provides an excellent meal and evening and well deserves its Michelin star.

To see our meals at Ame in January 2008, click here.

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