A few weeks ago, Mr. G and I were out with friends in New York when we met the manager of Foreign Cinema. We discussed our upcoming trip to SF and she was kind enough to invite us to dine at Foreign Cinema. Unfortunately, she wasn't working tonight but she definitely made sure the staff paid us a little extra attention.*
The atmosphere at Foreign Cinema is spectacular. There are multiple dining spaces. The main dining room is indoors and was bustling on thursday evening. Turns out we're in SF for Dine About Town. Looks like the equivalent of New York's restaurant week. I could tell by the clientele that Foreign Cinema is a trendy restaurant. It is located in the Mission and you definitely need reservations if you want to be sure that you are seated.
We sat in the outside dining area. It was partially covered and a rather interesting foreign film was projected on the wall. The dining area had outdoor heaters which were turned to low on this crisp evening. Before we were able to peruse the menu, we received two complimentary glasses of champagne courtesy of our manager friend.
Once we made our selections, we received a little something from the kitchen. I imagine this was the chef's amuse but it was unclear. We were served morel and spring onion crostini with creme fraiche.
The crostini was the perfect opener. I usually don't fancy mushrooms but this was well blended and the creme fraiche went remarkably well with the slightly tangy taste of the morel and spring onion. They also brought us bread. The light texture of the bread, one whole wheat and one white was great. I finished the whole wheat loaf sometime during the course of our meal.
Next up, we were served roasted fromage with lavendar and fried chips.
The fromage was amazing. The light fluffy texture of the cheese was contrasted with the crispy and hard chips. I'm not certain what the greens were, but they were slightly bitter and tasted best when eating the fromage at the same time. Mr. G's Scallop appetizer arrived first. It was pan seared and served in what tasted like a butter champagne sauce.
Since Mr. G's appetizer arrived before mine, the kitchen gifted me arugula salad while I waited for my appetizer. The salad was light and the perfect space filler. The crisp apples and slivers of white cheese left me longing for more.
My appetizer arrived shortly after. Calamari salad in a spicy tomato sauce with pesto. The calamari was piping hot and served in a dish similar to the fromage. Although I didn't squirt any lime on the dish, there was a hint of lime at the end of each bite. I suspected that the green sauce was a pesto or some other lime flavored sauce. The calamari was enough for two people, so I suggest you share. This was one of the sauces I used to eat the bread.
We ordered the same entree. Grilled Mahi-Mahi on a bed of basmati rice with broccoli rabe.
The fish was grilled to perfection. The basmati rice was no ordinary rice. The chef definitely added some extra vegetables to the rice and it created an amazing scent and taste. Of course, we were filled to the brim but had just enough room for dessert. After we made our dessert selection, we received another gift. Spring granitas: Cara Cara, white grape fruit and strawberry-lime.
This reminded me of summer time icees, but a very sophisticated version with flavors that I never could have dreamed up as a child. The dessert we actually ordered arrived shortly after we finished the granitas. Chocolate pot de creme.
It tasted like a thick chocolate mousse with lightly sweetened cream. We definitely finished that up pretty quickly. Dining at Foreign Cinema was an amazing experience. The atmosphere is electrifying, but not obnoxious. The service is impeccable. Your water glass is always filled, empty plates do not sit in front of you for long and someone is always asking if you need anything. My only regret about this restaurant is that I won't be able to go back for brunch before I leave SF.
* While we did receive some special treatment, I noticed that the staff was very attentive to all the guests.