Monday, June 22, 2015

Dinner at Kokkari in San Francisco

We met friends at Kokkari Estiatoria Friday evening and had another truly magnificent dining experience.  Kokkari came in number 1 on Zagat’s 2015 San Francisco restaurant rankings and we have been enjoying it for over ten years.  It’s known to be a tough reservation to get; start early, be flexible.

Walking into the old-world, wood floor and beam ambiance, we face the large open fireplace with today’s rotisserie special slowly turning.  It could be lamb or pork, today we’re in luck, it’s my favorite, duck!

Laura and I had our wedding reception in the back room at Kokkari six year ago.  Today the back room is open to the main dining area for general seating area as the restaurant fills.  And, we’re in luck, our server is Max, who helped make our reception a truly memorable event.  Max is knowledgeable, personable, and always has great recommendations that enhance our dining experience.

We start with a bottle of Prosecco while we try to choose among all the options for starters.  With five people, we can share, including of course my favorite, Octapodaki (grilled octopus).  But also, Gigantes (oven roasted giant beans), Pantzaria (roasted beets), Melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant dip with grilled pita), and a salad.  What a complementary assortment!  We’re filling up already, but the entrées call and we can’t resist.

Rotisserie Duck sounds good to three of us and it does not disappoint.  Laura tells me that I have the big contented smile as I finish up, nibbling on the wing bone.  She has the grilled sea bass and it’s perfectly done, light and tasteful.  The other dish at our table, a lemon-oregano roasted chicken, smells and tastes great.

With this mixture of entrées, we decide to have a young Greek red wine, the Driopi Agiorgitiko Nemea, which is light and refreshing and complements all the dishes. 

Desert, like the starters, is shared:  fresh berries, baklava with crème fraiche, and an assortment of Greek cookies.  A vin santo for me; Laura and Jennifer have prosecco, Howard and Sherry have flavorful herbal teas .

It couldn’t be more perfect – good friends, fabulous food, great atmosphere.

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