Sumirich, Minato

Some friends worked here and decided to show us the place. It’s Italian style, but I’m not sure it really is Italian (not that it particularly matters).

20160416sumirich01

 

One great thing about eating in groups is you can all share a large number of dishes! Overall the food was ok. Seems like a college-goer type of meal.

20160416sumirich02

20160416sumirich03

20160416sumirich04

20160416sumirich05

20160416sumirich06

20160416sumirich07

 

I liked the sauce on the steak and potatoes, which was some sort of sweet and savory demi-glaze.

20160416sumirich08

20160416sumirich09

20160416sumirich10

20160416sumirich11

20160416sumirich12

20160416sumirich13

 

Sumirich
1-2-5 Shiba Daimon
Minato 105-0012, Tokyo

Cotogna, San Francisco

I recently went with some coworkers to try out Cotogna for dinner one evening in Jackson Square in SF.

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - storefront

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – storefront

Being that we’ve walked past it but never heard of it, we decided simply to start small and see if we wanted to come back another time.  Looking at it from the outside, it seems rather unassuming and plain, to some extent.

Once inside, we were seated promptly and politely, and were surprisingly pleased with its interior decor.  It definitely had that San Francisco feel with its cement flooring, tall ceilings dressed with dark and warm colored wood treatment, tables that looked like they were cut right from a tree and stuck in the dining area, plus candles.

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - dining area

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – dining area

Once seated, we received menus and water.  I noticed that their water container was branded by Cotogna.  That’s a little unusual, but an interesting touch.  They also served focaccia, which came served with olive oil, herbs and spices sprinkled on top.

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - menu

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – menu

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - cotogna water

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – cotogna water

Knowing we intended to start small and see if it is worth going back again, we all gravitated towards pizza.  Seems like a safe choice, right?  Of the pizza listed, we opted for the wild mushroom, nettle, house made bacon and fontina, and the sausage, romanesco, fior di latte mozzarella.

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - wild mushroom, nettle, housemade bacon and fontina pizza

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – wild mushroom, nettle, house made bacon and fontina pizza

SF - Cotogna (Jackson Square) - sausage, romanesco, fior di latte mozzarella pizza

SF – Cotogna (Jackson Square) – sausage, romanesco, fior di latte mozzarella pizza

Before the pizzas arrived, I already thought I’d like the sausage one better, but I was wrong.  The sausage pizza was good, but I didn’t feel it was worth it.  The mushroom / nettle / bacon / fontina pizza was definitely the winner, and is the reason I would go back!  Both were the thin-crust type and it tasted & felt like it was freshly made (because it was).

Can’t wait to try what else they have!

Credo, San Francisco

Feeling hungry for lunch in financial district AND have $30 burning a hole in your pocket?  There’s no shortage of places that can take that $30 and give you some sort of food in exchange… Credo SF is one such place.  I thought it was good.  What’s it like, you ask?  Let me virtually take you there!

SF - Credo (Financial District) - curb appeal

SF – Credo (Financial District) – curb appeal

The store-front is certainly pleasing to look, and once inside it gets better.

SF - Credo (Financial District) ground floor

SF – Credo (Financial District) ground floor

Upon walking in, I was concerned that I saw someone who looked concerned.  And he/she (sorry, this person was ambiguous looking and I’m not trying to be funny) had cuff links. Once I spotted the cuff links I realized this person is probably always concerned and therefore I have nothing to be concerned about.

Some of you may be thinking that the ground floor is nice but not special.  Well, I think that downstairs is where Credo’s magic is!

SF - Credo (Financial District) basement

SF – Credo (Financial District) basement walls

I was rollin’ 11-deep and knew that this place had a gorgeous basement dining area. As it was for a going-away lunch for a coworker that appreciates fine details, this place was perfect. The walls were clever yet not tacky, the bar was intelligent yet not condescending, and the tablescape was classic.

SF - Credo (Financial District) tablescape

SF – Credo (Financial District) tablescape

The basement bar caught my eye with its perforated metal “Mac Pro” look.

SF - Credo (Financial District) basement bar

SF – Credo (Financial District) basement bar

The service was quite memorable and I felt it went beyond expectations!  First, I appreciate any waitress whose shirt says, “I believe in bacon.”  But that doesn’t distract me from paying attention to her level of attentiveness and ninja stealth.  She was always around when I wanted something, yet drinks were promptly refilled without anyone noticing.  Another service person was capable of clearing an 11-person table all by himself in one fell swoop.  I was impressed left and right.  The experience here is better than places costing 2x and more.  I felt proud that I had made a reservation here for the occasion.

The food itself is noteworthy but not exactly memorable.  It fulfilled all expectations set by the ambiance and price tag.

SF - Credo (Financial District) drinks

SF – Credo (Financial District) drinks

SF - Credo (Financial District) bread and butter

SF – Credo (Financial District) bread and butter

SF - Credo (Financial District) butter close-up

SF – Credo (Financial District) butter close-up

Something I didn’t understand was the droplets on the butter.  I put some on my knife and touched the droplet to my tongue, only to find it didn’t have any flavor and its texture was like water.  I asked the waitress and she revealed that they only add sea salt to the butter, but the droplets were condensation from the fridge.  Odd.  But not negative.

I ordered the white alba and brown beech mushroom risotto with pea tendrils, in the “large” size.

SF - Credo (Financial District) risotto

SF – Credo (Financial District) risotto

It might be silly, but I thought the risotto looked soupy.  Yet, it was good (not awesome) in every way.  The risotto itself was al dente; this may be basic, but it is surprising how infrequent one finds al dente pasta around here.

The pea tendrils tasted odd by themselves, resembling savory steamed mystery greens like at Chinese restaurants. Fortunately, when eaten in conjunction with the rest of the dish, the pea tendrils tasted good.  And the rest of the dish tasted better because it had pea tendrils.  It’s that harmony aspect I seek!  I was pleased.

The mushrooms were slightly limp and not soggy, which I appreciated.  I thought it weird to see olive oil just sitting on top, but it added a lovely nutty aroma and flavor.  Good tasting and good smelling olive oil is a pleasure everyone should discover!  And it complemented the rest of the dish.  This is the kind of food that makes you smile afterwards, but not the kind that inspires or awes.

SF - Credo (Financial District) risotto close-up

SF – Credo (Financial District) risotto close-up

I thought everything worked well in this dish, and every ingredient was thoughtfully and purposefully added.  For a $30 meal, I felt like you really get what you pay for.  Maybe even a little more, when you include the service and ambiance!  I’d go back, but probably only for specific occasions when the entire experience matters.  Otherwise I’ll go broke.  I’m not made of money, you know… unlike some other people.

And the bathroom was sparkling, with no detectable scent of any kind.  High five!