Nom Nom Paleo

Eating Out (Not) Paleo: Saison (San Francisco, CA)

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I LOVE going out to eat — it’s hands-down my favorite way to celebrate a special occasion. Plus, if it’s a date night without the kids, it’s even more awesome because I can be a total potty mouth (which reminds my honey of why he first fell in love with me).

Dinner dates with just my husband are few and far-between these days, so I keep a running wish list of the latest and greatest restaurants to hit the San Francisco Bay Area. At the very tip-top of my list of places to try was Saison — and for good reason: Chef Joshua Skenes is one of the most innovative and exciting chefs around these parts.

Not only was he listed as one of The Chronicle’s Rising Star Chefs of 2010 and Food & Wine’s Top 10 Chefs of 2011, but he also likes to curse as much as I do. Just last week he cooked dinner for one of my culinary idols, Jacques Pepin, and Monsieur Pepin gave him mad props.

As a result, I was super-stoked to secure a reservation for our anniversary dinner and even more ecstatic that our seats would be at the chef’s table in the kitchen!

One of my favorite meals in recent memory was our dinner at Momofuku Ko — where we got to gawk up-close as our food was being meticulously prepared — and I knew this experience would be similar: casual atmosphere, delicious and innovative cuisine, and we’d be smack-dab in the middle of kitchen stadium! 

Full disclosure: Dinner wasn’t exactly Paleo (there were some grains, sugar, legumes, soy, and dairy that popped up on our plates) but I didn’t care. Sometimes, it’s well worth it.

Enough blathering from me — pictures really are worth a thousand words, so enjoy these tantalizing shots from our dinner…

Here’s the vantage point from our seats at the chef’s table:

Our meal started with smoked Osetra caviar…

…and a small crispy flatbread topped with egg white, creme fraiche, shad roe, foraged flowers, and gold leaf.

Then, we watched as the chef in front of us composed a trio of canapés… 

…raw oyster with olive oil…

…parsnip medley with parsnip puree, salmon roe, and parsnip chip…

…and a radish stack served with a nasturtium flower.

Follow the jump for more enticing food porn!

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