Sunday, April 11, 2010

Classic Dining in San Francisco

This weekend we took a break from our regular wine outings and headed to San Francisco for the first ever San Francisco Vintners Market. The event was packed with over 150 wineries showing off their latest wines to a roomful of patrons with the opportunity to purchase any of the wines they like. It was the first ever event of it’s kind in San Francisco and it was a huge success. It was great to see some of you face to face and to meet a lot of new folks who, like all of you, are looking for “great stuff” in the world of wine. Since we were all gathered in the city for the weekend, we thought it would be good to visit a restaurant classic that stands as one of the nation’s greatest steakhouses. The House of Prime Rib is everything you could imagine it to be by reading the name alone. It’s old school white table cloth, club service cocktails, waiters in starched white shirts and bow-ties with the simplest fare ever conceived. I mean, the menu is rather unnecessary as the only choice you have to make is how much prime rib do you want, how would you like it cooked, do you want your potatoes baked or mashed and do you want creamed corn or creamed spinach. You may be saying to yourself, really? That’s it? Yes, and how great “it” is! We sat down to our table after a healthy dose of gin at the bar to knock the dust off the palate with fourteen people total on two tables and were graciously catered to by Bartholomew. A man with a young face, an unfortunate name, but a classically trained captain of his profession which is something you see less and less of in restaurants today. From start to finish our meal and service was as impeccable as the wines (2004 Waypoint Weiss Vineyard Cabernet, 2005 Caymus Special Selection and 2007 PlumpJack Estate Cabernet to name a few) and made for one of the better evenings the Bounty Hunter crew has shared in recent memory. It’s almost unimaginable that the same city that is on the forefront of molecular gastronomy, culinary deconstruction, foams, frills and the signature Nike swoosh of vegetable puree also gave birth to this palace of culinary lucidity. Don’t get me wrong, I like all that fancy stuff, but when it’s all said and done the restaurants that survive the test of time are the ones who do something really simple and they do it very well. After this weekends experience the House of Prime Rib has my vote for one of America’s greatest restaurants. What’s your best “classic” restaurant experience in recent memory?

--Stefan Matulich, Sales Director

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