Fall Comes to Urban Tavern (Look for a Potted Egg)
I thought I knew everything about egg preparation. What could be there to discover about the basic food of people who have no time to cook? That was until I visited the Urban Tavern restaurant at Hilton San Francisco and tasted Executive Chef Colin Duggan’s recently introduced fall menu.
The first thing that caught my attention was the potted egg topped with chanterelle mushrooms. Besides cooking eggs, I can and do collect chanterelles in the wild, and know how to sauté them. What I didn’t know was the most creative way Chef Duggan combined both of my favorite ingredients with excellent Bellwether Farms ricotta in a toy cast-iron pot by baking an egg into the cheese. The results were very comforting.
My refreshing cucumber mint martini played nicely into the richness of this ultimate fall starter.
It was followed by a main course of perfectly medium venison with a flavorful parsnip puree of amazing consistency, and deliciously nutty barley with wild mushrooms and Madeira sauce. To me this harmonious combination tasted like the star of the season.
A glass of Urban Tavern private label zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley just made it shine.
My dining companion indulged in the ever-popular shrimp scampi. It was very satisfying, baked in an oven dish with garlic butter and smoked paprika, and served with a thick slice of grilled buttered bread.
His main course consisted of sliced pork shoulder braised in whiskey and garnished with roasted kabocha squash and halved Brussels sprouts.
The dish was paired with 2007 Obsidian Ridge cabernet sauvignon from Lake County – truly savage, with strong tannins, and a very good match.
We shared a side of cauliflower gratin in a cast-iron cocotte—I just couldn’t get enough of those cute little pots that the chef so obviously preferred for his fall repertoire.
While Chef Duggan implemented the farm-to-table concept and engaged a number of local food producers, Urban Tavern General Manager and Sommelier Steven Kleinfeld and Beverage Manager Anthony Santiago compiled a rather impressive wine list with prevailing California labels, mostly sustainable and organic.
For a sweet finale, we shared a butter bourbon pudding with dark chocolate, served with a black pepper madeleine cookie, and a cocktail of vanilla Stoli, Frangelico and Baileys, appropriately named Just Dessert.
Urban Tavern is located at 333 O’Farrell Street, SF. For reservations, call 415-923-4400 or visit their website.