Saturday, September 4, 2010
I ♥ Lobster! This is why I have a deep passionate love for Chef Ron Siegel because of his lobster battle victory! **drools** So when I saw a place named Thermidor, I thought to myself WOW this is the place for me. What is this Mint Plaza that I keep seeing with restaurants that I might want to try? Even though my stomach had an "incident" the night before, I was determined to come to Thermidor before I left SF. Mind over matter! =D
Thermidor is the sister restaurant to Spork. I actually couldn't get a reservation almost for Thermidor, so I thought they must be one bustling restaurant. WRONG! It was pretty empty and where is the dining area? I know it is rare, but for some reason that day in SF was smoking hot! At 7 PM it felt like the weather was in the 90's. Odd for SF and even worse was when I walked into the "restaurant". It was almost like a small walk in space and the inside area was even hotter! *gasp* I seriously almost turned around and walked out! My bad, but I immediately started complaining about this to Ms. Lin and was about to walk out for another restaurant. Ms. Lin said that it was common for SF places to not have AC and I pointed out that is not true because I just came from One Market and they were fully AC'd. In the end, I decided to stay despite the intense heat. We sat out in the patio area where there were a bunch of bugs that crawled onto the table or flew by. They really need to invest in a bug zapper or something if they seat all their guests outside. This was one of my biggest qualms, but Ms. Lin was annoyed that it was so difficult to make a reservation when they are pretty empty? Minus many points to start off the evening, no?
So why the I ♥ Lobster title? Well, we decided to keep an open mind and enjoy my last meal in the city for this trip. The food better be pretty darn good or I was thinking about writing them a strongly worded letter or blast them on review sites... Good thing was that I LOVED the Mini Lobster Roll! For $15 it was a bit on the pricier side because they really weren't kidding with the word mini! Still, the Brioche Roll was filled with delicately poached Maine Lobster and served with Pickled Tokyo Turnips. The lobster was melt in the mouth D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! I was shocked! Since the beginning didn't look to promising and they serve me this little piece of heaven? Wow, I was blown away by the spectacular taste. I just wish that you get a bigger portion or option of a bigger size.
For Hors D'oeuvres we shared Goat Cheese Fritters with Balsamic Reduction, Summer Peaches, and Almond Slivers. Each hors d'oeuvres is $6 and they are very small portions. There were a few that sounded interesting, but we were a little hesitant since they are really made for one person to consume... hence I suggest the mini lobster roll, although I wish I didn't have to share! lol The goat cheese fritters were nicely batter and fried. My favorite item on the plate was the summer peach that was so juicy and flavorful!
Ms. Lin debated on what to order and I stood my ground that I want the Lobster Thermidor. She could get whatever she wanted but I am not one to share my lobster. O=) In the end she chose to try something new and a few bites from my plate. She ordered the Berkshire Pork Chop with Spaetzle, Red Cabbage, Whole Grain Mustard Sauce, and Nectarine. Ms. Lin made sure to ask for it to be cooked medium rare, but it still came out closer to medium. I thought the flavors were good and paired well with the nectarine.
Not a surprise that I chose the Lobster Thermidor. After all that was the sole reason of coming here. This is only the second time I've had lobster thermidor so I was eager to see how the one here was. On the menu it said fresh Maine Lobster baked in the shell with a Brandy Bechamel Sauce and served with a Potato-Lobster Gratin. How does that not sound wonderful? Hence my eagerness to try this place out before I left the city. Since the mini lobster roll was so fantastic I had a good feeling about the lobster! The portions are a bit on the smaller side here so I was afraid that there wouldn't be much lobster meat but I must say... there was quite a bit of lobster or at least more than I thought there would be.
They actually fill the head and tail with tender chunks of lobster. There must be more than half of a tail in my opinion. The sauce was savory and complimented the lobster perfectly. There were small bits of lobster in the potato gratin, although the gratin felt more like a mashed potato. Everything was lobster-tastic! I wish I had a place like this near home so I could get lobster all the time!
All in all the food was surprisingly tasty, our server was fine, and the busboy was super attentive. Luckily it cooled down a little after we sat down or I would've hated feeling sticky while eating. Ms. Lin and I had an interesting discussion that despite the great food she would never give them more than 4 out of 5 stars... and I would have to agree. The food is solid but there was a lot of other stuff that they need to correct to make them "fine restaurant". Still, I left praising the lobster and cursing Ms. Lin (in my head) for not letting me eat more lobster! lol
8 Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94103