Alas, the dual holidays of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day found tables at the eatery already booked months in advance. Undaunted, I sent a last-ditch request to Farallon’s reservation manager, pleading my case with desperate determination.
To my delight, an email response announced, "Great sob story. We have reserved a table for two on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m." I was thrilled, but there existed a possibility, considering the expectations surrounding this dinner, that it could never quite live up to our exaggerated hopes.
After a post-parade, pre-dinner drink at the St. Frances, we sashayed down the side street off Union Square and caught site of the twinkling windows fronting the restaurant. In the otherwise rain-soaked darkness, Farallon appeared as an inhabited island settled in a desolate sea. Once inside, we were immediately enchanted by an ephemeral collection of glowing jellyfish suspended from the ceiling in the anteroom bar. When the hostess approached, I had almost forgotten why we‘d come, content to soak in the sea-inspired art and mesmerizing fixtures of this modern day Atlantis. Shell-shaped wall sconces, elaborate Gaudi like tile works and a copper fish-scale canopy covering the prep area set the stage for the works of seafood art that would later emerge from the kitchen.
We sat ring-side of the bustling demonstration kitchen where servers and chefs were given marching orders from an ever-present master of cuisine. A unique wood fire range emitted a subtle campfire aroma, adding to the romantic ambiance. Overhead, back-lit frescoes of mythical, whimsical sea creatures supervised the action below as servers and patrons wove their way through the semi-circular booths that swirl through the large dining room.
My husband started dinner with a selection of oysters gathered from North America’s finest nesting grounds. I chose a braised endive salad with blue cheese, watercress and walnuts. Although I didn’t require an added impetus to eat, given the heavenly aromas emanating from the cook top, the first course was an effective digestif with its tangy, tart flavors, suggesting I may have been able to handle the multi-course tasting menu after all.
Hoping instead to hook the freshest of the seafood options, I chose the Roasted Local Halibut with no regrets. Expertly prepared, the meaty fish was set atop a pureed artichoke chowder that complimented the dish with a precision born only in the hands of a fine chef. French press coffee served with passion fruit cake with ginger sabayon, the lusciously sinful Italian concoction of eggs and brandy, was the finale for our long-awaited dining experience.
And then, as the candle flickered at the bottom of the votive glass, it was over.
Thankfully, there was no anti-climax. Farallon had proven decidedly more memorable for the waiting.
Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
November 17, 2008
From journal Family Weekend in San Francisco
by smmmarti guide
March 30, 2003
From journal San Francisco: America's Favorite City
by P.J. & Russ
Bayside, New York
February 2, 2003
From journal San Francisco Getaway
by Eve Carr
April 3, 2002
Step into the Farallon at 450 Post Street in San Francisco, (415) 956-6969, and you and your partner will feel as if you have entered an underground sea world. With subdued lighting and soft, muted colors of verdigris and burnished gold, walls with graceful arches, artistic sea urchins and jellyfish light fixtures, interior designer and co-owner Pat Kuleto has set an enchanted stage for your dining pleasure. It’s reported to have cost $4 million, so enjoy it.
But a romantic dining experience is not created by ambiance alone. The service and the food must deliver or the setting means nothing. Fortunately, the service Farallon is prompt, courteous and most professional, without being intrusive. The cuisine of Chef and co-owner Mark Franz will challenge you to come up with words to describe how delicious and innovative it is. Seafood is king here, and you find unique dishes such as Seared Alaskan Halibut with black mussels, English peas, smoked ham and fennel chowder as well as Lavender Crusted Rare Hawaiian Tuna, with local sea urchin, black truffle capellini, green onions, and dungeness crab. But the Grilled Sonoma Poussin, with scallion mashed potatoes, Maine lobster and roasted cherry tomato vinaigrette was truly sumptuous.
The problem I have with Farallon is that it’s in San Francisco, and I live in Virginia. But that does give me another excuse to visit San Francisco again, doesn’t it. My friend, Elizabeth, who recommended this restaurant certainly does have outstand taste--literally!
Price Range: $75+
Dress code: Business Casual
Hours open: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mon. to Fri.; Dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Mon. to Wed.; 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday To Sat.; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun.
From journal Romantic Rendevous in San Francisco
New York , New York
March 22, 2001
From journal the city by the bay!
October 22, 2000
The quality of the service equals the stunning decor. Your servers are attentive and friendly as they offer suggestions on wine and entres. When your appetizer arrives and you take the first bite of the classic ceasar salad with the right amount of zest in the dressing you realize that the food is as amazing as the service and decor. The best part of your dinner, the entree is on its way. With each bite of your large sea scallops seared to perfection, you understand why reservations are recommended. This is more than a meal - this is the type of restaurant which helps build San Francisco's dining reputation.
From journal RE: Fresh the San Francisco Treat