Find Treasure at Lafitte
If you’re searching for French-inspired creative cuisine, then set your sails for Lafitte on the Embarcadero. Chef Russell Jackson is at Lafitte’s helm (named for the legendary 18th-century pirate). Chef Jackson is passionate, innovative, and focused. You can’t miss with his attention to ingredients and his devotion to the dining experience.
Located at Pier 5, the restaurant has wonderful views. San Francisco Bay is visible from most tables (both inside and outside on the patio), the bar, and the plank (the counter area specifically dedicated to eating with Chef Jackson – more on that in a minute). The décor is industrial chic with high ceilings, oversized windows, exposed pipes, original wooden support columns, and reclaimed pier ties (used for a unique set of shelves for the spirits). Bowls of fresh fruit, jars of various ingredients being poached or infused, and miniature greens growing in boxes on the countertop are integral elements of the interior design.
If you have the time to invest in an Omakase experience, sit at the plank with Chef Jackson for an extraordinary culinary adventure. You can tell him what you like, but make no mistake, he decides what you will eat and drink based on the ingredients at hand, his inspiration of the moment, and what his chefs may be prepping.
Your position at the plank gives you a bird’s eye view of the open kitchen and Chef Jackson as he creates your meal. For the first course, Chef Jackson combined marinated duck hearts with gherkin pickles, lemon juice, and olive oil for a delectable tartare topped with chopped pistachios and a juniper reduction. This was paired with his Vin de Maison (house wine infused with batches of citrus made at the restaurant). Next up was a luscious pan-seared duck liver, served over burrata and accompanied by Brussels sprout slaw with micro celery and extra virgin olive oil. Swan’s Neck Vodka infused with green and blood oranges was delicious.
Rolled river trout poached in veal stock with vermouth and meyer lemons was next. Served with a parsnip coffee purée – the dish was amazing! To drink, Chef Jackson chose the 2009 La Tunella Brianno Rigialle.
Time for Chef Jackson’s Elvis. Decadent layers of house-made brioche, foie gras, organic peanut butter, blackberry jam, and Iberian bacon – wow! A Belgian dubbel trappist ale made for a delicious pairing.
For the last course, roast suckling pig came with black chickpeas and a burnt caramel sauce and a glass of bacon-infused bourbon! There is no set number of courses included in the Lafitte Omakase, but Chef Jackson has a watchful eye. He instinctively knows when his guests slow down and it’s time for dessert.
The meyer lemon and vanilla bean crème brulée and chewy ginger snaps made for a sweet ending. That is until the warm, luscious bacon chocolate-chip cookies arrived.
Chef Jackson’s plank experience is intimate and indulgent, delicious and daring – one you won’t quickly forget. Rest assured that if you make the decision to enjoy a French brasserie meal at Lafitte, Chef Jackson will take care of the rest.
Editor’s note: This venue is now closed.