Date night in San Francisco started off with a walk up a steep hill to the newly-opened restaurant, Sons & Daughters in the Nob Hill area. Thankfully, it was only a couple of blocks from our hotel and I was wearing flats. Walking into the restaurant, I felt like we were back in NYC, dining in a neighborhood joint in Brooklyn. The interior was black, white, with shades of gray; while the staff were young and pleasant. The kitchen was in the middle of the dining room and there was a waiting lounge downstairs.
The changing menu is short, with only 11 dishes (which includes the 2 dessert options) on it. I liked that the whole table doesn't need to participate in the tasting menu, so my husband went with the bargain 4-course $48 prix fixe tasting menu while I ordered a couple of items a la carte.
After we ordered our glasses of wine (Syrah-based 2009 Cotes du Rhone from St. Cosme ($9) and a easy-drinking lemony white Bordeaux blend from Chateau Lamothe de Haux ($10)), we received this complimentary amuse bouche. The Raw Oyster finished with cucumber juice and lime was bright, briny, and refreshing. A good start to our meal! We were also given warm homemade brioche with very local San Francisco sea salt (not pictured).
My husband's first course: Raw Lobster Tail with Basil Lime, Pomegranate and Caviar. The lobster was pounded thin and was pleasant with the salty caviar, sweet pomegranate seeds, and microgreens on top. This dish tasted even better than it looks (my husband proclaimed it to be one of the best appetizers he's ever enjoyed).
My complimentary taste of the Herb Salad. The kitchen nicely brought me a taste of their "curds and whey" salad (maybe they thought my husband wouldn't share his lobster appetizer and didn't want me sitting there without anything to eat?). It had curds, whey, radish, sliced fennel, airy eucalyptus oil foam, and crispy quinoa scattered on top. This was certainly an interesting salad.
My husband's 2nd course: Sweetbreads with Lobster Claw, turnip, and bronzed fennel. A great choice for the tasting menu option - a few bites of the sweet shellfish paired with the browned yet melt-in-your-mouth sweetbread with tender vegetables was excellent.
My dish: Squash with White Chanterelles, Rapini, Dried Fruit, Pineapple Sage, and Nasturtium ($13) A lovely fall dish that was surprisingly delicate and hearty in flavor.
My husband's 3rd course: Lamb loin cooked sous vide and then pan seared and served medium rare with quail egg, spinach, toasted barley and chunks of lamb cheek. We love dishes with a runny egg that you can mix with the jus and in this case the barley. My husband enjoyed this dish, while I preferred my squab dish below.
My entree: Squab ($20) breast, Confit leg, and pate with poached pears, hazelnuts (crushed and puree), and shallots. I loved this dish! The meat was juicy, the rustic pate was insanely rich, and the hazelnuts enhanced the dish by bringing out the flavor of the meat.
Complimentary palate cleanser: Blueberries, vanilla bean, and airy vanilla powder. I liked the light, playful bite which paired blueberries with a vanilla cloud. When I looked up from my bite, however, my husband had blown the powder all over himself and the table. I laughed as he sheepishly explained he was trying to sniff the aroma before taking a bite.
My husband's 4th course (dessert): Foie Gras, pickled apple puree, lemon verbana, and almond brioche crumble. To me, this was not a dessert dish (very savoury, not a lot of sweet), which is probably why my husband loved it. He really enjoyed the buttery and salty richness of the foie gras paired with the intense pickled apple to cleanse his palate.
Sons and Daughters is located at 708 Bush St. (at Powell) in San Francisco, CA.