cucinanicolina

Birthday Decadence

18 October 2006

Today’s observation is that organic bananas really do taste better than conventional ones, and are worth the few extra pennies that make up the price difference. They always seem to melt more gently in the mouth, and are more tender.

For my 28th birthday I was feted throughout the weekend with meals at various fine dining establishments around San Francisco, including (the orginal) Chow and a small Italian place on Fillmore St. that makes its own (fresh and delicious) pasta. There may or may not have been cupcake consumption from Citizen Cupcake and Miette (and I make no judgments as to which was better, because they were both delicious. As was the ginger sandwich cookie. Or, I would imagine that they were delicious.). There were also wild-blueberry muffins for Sunday breakfast before a long and lovely lunch at The Slanted Door (lemon martini; vegetarian spring rolls; vegetarian Vietnamese crepe; tofu-mushroom main dish for me).

One would think that by the time my actual birthday dawned on the 16th I would have been holding my still-full stomach and wishing for a light meal of green tea and fruit. Not so! I was served breakfast in bed at 7am (a pot of tea; scrambled eggs; muffin; toast with jam) to start me off, and indulged in another lunch at the Ferry Building (vegetarian plate! veggie sushi!), and another chocolate cupcake (do I have a thing for cupcakes? But who wouldn’t, really). And still I had room for dinner that night.

We went to Nopa (www.nopasf.com), which recently opened in the neighborhood. It’s gotten some buzz from various publications around town, and even garnered a small spot in Gourmet magazine. I called in the afternoon to make a reservation for four and it’s a good idea I did; I think it fills up pretty quickly for dinner, and even at 6:30 on a Monday was fairly packed. It’s not cheap — and there was only one vegetarian entree — but the atmosphere, all warm wood and high ceilings, is cozy and comfortable. The food is thoughtful and fresh, and I think the restaurant mostly uses local, organic ingredients. The best part? It took about five minutes to walk there, and this was much appreciated post-eating because the wind had picked up and it was another chilly San Francisco evening.

Members of our party consumed:

Early girl tomato salad with olives and feta
Moroccan vegetable stew (potatoes, carrots, almonds, tomatoes, squash)
Fish stew (halibut, cod, squid)
Salmon
Spinach salad
Chocolate pot de creme (SO good)

I also had two glasses of sparkling wine. It was my birthday, after all!