Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Campton Place Restaurant

It was pouring rain when we slipped into this Union Square boutique hotel for a late afternoon lunch. And so maybe it was the dreary weather, or the fact that we'd gotten up at the crack of dawn and were now positively famished, but the elegant restaurant immediately felt cozy. Especially when our server promptly pushed the champagne cart our way, reminding us of those days in the school cafeteria when the milk lady had chocolate milk on her cart. On this grown-ups version of the milk cart we had our choice of four different bubblies, sans the calcium and hairnet. We quickly selected a blanc de blancs, and let the games begin.

Amuse Bouche-Campton Place
Amuse Bouche - Coconut and Parsnip Soup with Poached Lobster

The texture of the soup was silky and luxurious. The coconut and parsnip played off each other, keeping the flavor from being too rich or bitter; a perfect harmony. The little bite of lobster was a tease--I longed for more.

Celery Root Soup-Campton Place
Celery Root Soup - Ras al Hanout, Cauliflower, and Olio Nuovo - included with the chicken for $26, or $13 a la carte

Loved the flavor of the soup--that slightly bitter, sour celery root bite--but the little pieces of cauliflower were somewhat distracting.

Kampachi Sashimi-Campton Sashimi
Kampachi Sashimi - Blood Orange, Black Trumpet Mushroom Puree - $14

The sashimi equivalent of champagne and strawberries. The fish was mouth-watering and delicate, and the strawberries and fennel made it sweet and refreshing. Kind of looks like a heart with an arrow through it, huh? After all, we were celebrating an early Valentine's Day...

Chicken Breast-Campton Place
Fulton Valley Farms Chicken Breast - Maitake Mushrooms, Sunchoke, and Nettle Puree - $26

I'm really not much of a chicken fan. Ok, I usually don't even eat the stuff. (Makes it kind of hard to laugh at "tastes like chicken" jokes.) But given that my pant legs were soaking wet up to my calves, this dish just sounded so inviting--like comfort food. The tender, savory pieces of chicken did not dissapoint, and would you look at that nettle puree? A little sliver of heaven.

Duck Breast-Campton Place
Duck Breast with Carmalized Endive, Tangerine and Chamomile - $24

If you've read some of our previous posts then you know J has a thing for duck, and loves the contrast of crispy skin and the tenderness of the breast. The duck at Campton Place was nestled on a bed of ginger and sauteed onions, which worked well with the slices of sweet tangerine. As for the avocado, it really didn't add anything to the dish.

Too stuffed for dessert, we reluctantly abandoned our table to brave the rain again. At least we had a good pinot buzz to take with us.

- K

Campton Place
340 Stockton Street at Union Square
San Francisco, CA 94108
415.955.5555

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