Thursday, September 15, 2011

guest chef ryan farr at baker and banker


i'm winding down for the night and thinking about the lovely dinner i just had. i've been looking forward to the ryan farr's guest chef appearance at baker and banker. sus and i were planning to go and put ourselves on the waitlist for a party of four. we were quite happy when a spot opened up. it turned out to be serendipitous because some friends were also available. there was quite a flurry of text messages happening that day.

i was very excited about the dinner for a few reasons.

while i don't personally know ryan farr, i've been eating his food for couple of years now. the 4505 meats stand is one of my regular stops for a sausage or burger at the thursday or saturday farmers' market at the ferry building. i've lost count of the amount of bags of chicharrones i've bought for friends and loved ones in the bay area, new york, atlanta, and the uk. when i travel, i usually carry a bag with me....not only to share with folks but also because it is like carrying a bit of home with me. also, a couple of my pics of his food made eatersf's best pics of 2010....so yeah....i'm a fan and advocate of his food.

this has been well documented in the blog....and well...twitter.

i've also been wanting to try out baker and banker for a while....and i was happy to find out that friends were available so that we were all able to sit together. while i had zero idea of what was going to be on the menu, i didn't mind. i was just looking forward to having a lovely evening out with friends over some good food and wine.

we all met in front of the restaurant and when i checked in with the FOH, i was quite surprised when the host asked me if we were going to be joined by anyone from the BOH for dinner. since i didn't say anything to the reservation folks about who was going to be at the table when i made the reservation, i almost texted a certain mischief-making homie who was helping out that evening in the kitchen to ask what EXACTLY did he say to the FOH. sigh. my response was that we hadn't planned on it but if anyone in the back would like to come visit the table, that would be great. this was reaffirmed by others that would be at our table. i was actually thinking about whether the mischief-making homie was going to hang out for a bit....but also wondered if they would really have time to do so....since i assumed that they would be cooking.

if you are reading this mr. mischief maker....you are soooooo lucky that i love you.....i will be asking you about this when i see you and there isn't an audience.

anyway.

the menu included 6 tastings (4 savory, 1 intermezzo, and a dessert). my favorite tastes of the evening included the tender tongue pastrami, the young chicken galatine, the tiny crispy succulent fried offal (...gizzard i think), the thompson grape sorbet (from humphry slocombe), and the warm elephant heart pluot upside down cake.

the space itself felt very warm, comfortable, and cozy. it felt like a neighborhood restaurant...one where it would be easy to become a regular. i didn't realize that they had a bar....which is ideal for me...as i prefer casual eating at the bar. as this is almost literally a hop, skip, and a jump from my place, methinks i'll be back on a weeknight to check out the regular non-guest menu.

yes, the table did receive some nice visits during the evening....but to be clear...i wasn't the one that folks were visiting. it was for the rest of the folks at the table.

as i walked back to my place, i was rather thrilled with the novelty of knowing i'd be home so soon. no need to get on muni, catch a cab, etc. etc....which is so freaking great. well, must go to sleep....have my first meeting in a a few hours.

night night.

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