Monday, April 2, 2007


Last year, the bf and I managed to critique our way through a number of celebrated SF restaurants. Rubicon (overrated), Frisson (well not worth it), Kokkari (good but often inconsistent), Michael Mina (one word: super), Chaya (quite good), Perbacco (lovely), etc. You name it, we’ve probably tried it. Jardinière however was untouched territory. Reservations had to be made at least a week in advance and when we did secure ours via Open Table, all week I thought of nothing but dinner on Friday. To top it off, Friday was paycheck day so I didn’t feel the least bit guilty. There is really no better way to spend well-earned $$$ than on food.

By Tuesday, I was already starting to picture the Jardinière experience in detail. We’d get dressed at home, take a slow drive to Hayes Valley, step out of the car and hand the keys to the valet. As we prepared to step into the world of Chef Traci Des Jardin Iron Chef winner of 05, we’d be greeted immediately by the responsive Maître d'. She would smile her practiced smile and offer to take our coats. Then we’d proceed to a small table – designed to allow just the right amount of intimacy in our conversation. And that was when we’d begin our meal course by course, enjoying the dishes prepared with utmost care. Little did I know.

Friday morning, I woke up to a minor cramp in my stomach. Dismissing it as gastritis, I thought nothing of it. At work, the pain got worse and I suffered sporadic pangs of the same stinging throughout the day. It was such an unusual experience I couldn’t help but worry. Despite everything I stubbornly refused to cancel our reservations. I mean why would I postpone another week when I still have the ability to eat right? In the end, I was begging to go home even before dessert was served. Aiks.

Still, the food was fantastic and the service impeccable. I highly recommend this place for a quiet dinner before the ballet, or a date.

It's so dark in there, but that's probably good
cause no one can tell how many glasses of wine you've had

Hot water served especially for the ill...
...followed by a glass of wine

Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad with Dungeness Crab
and Meyer Lemon Aïoli to start

Carnaroli Risotto with Wild Mushrooms,
Toasted Pinenuts, Treviso and Fontina d'Aosta

Ribeye Steak with Fingerling Potatoes, Broccoli Rapini
and Bone Marrow Gremolata, Sauce Bordelaise

Take me home... please

Bonne Bouche Platter with Lemon-Vanilla Crème Brûlée, Opera Cake, Petite Tarts,
Cookies, Fruit Jellies, Chocolate Truffles and Candies to-go

Crème Brûlée pour moi?

Once in PJs, I revealed the sweet treasures in the little brown box
and prepared to dig in as I snuggled comfortably on the couch

Ta-da! Plating good enough for Jardinière


M said...

I LOVE Jardiniere. I wrote about it on my blog, too. That place is amazing. Love your dress in this photo, too, by the way.

Danielle Bumblebee said...

thanks! the dress is very roland mouret n tat's what made me fall in love..