The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

John's Grill, San Francisco

For our trip to San Francisco, I asked hubby to take care of our itinerary. For once, I could just sit back, relax and enjoy the sight-seeing and eating without having to bury my nose inside a map and notes. Hubby did a brilliant job, and the restaurant he picked for dinner on our first day was a winning introduction to the city's culinary delights. John's Grill is over a century old, and was immortalised in a 1930 novel whose author was a regular and mentioned the steakhouse in the book. The book has two film adaptations, further propagating John's Grill's name and fame, although I must admit I hadn't heard of the book, author nor films prior to dining at John's. Hubby had heard of The Maltese Falcon, so he could somewhat appreciate the historical significance of John's Grill more than me.

Cool sophistication:

"Home of The Maltese Falcon":

Stepping into John's Grill was like stepping back in time. The dark wood panel walls and white linen lent a cool sophistication, yet the atmosphere remained unstuffy and casual. Many black-and-white photos of famous celebrities who have eaten at John's Grill line the walls. Our waiter was a tall gentleman who has probably worked at the restaurant for decades, and his service was impeccable. He was comfortably professional and amiable, bringing to mind the term "butler". The menu was simple and unfussy, with a good variety to suit most tastebuds. We didn't take too long to decide what to eat. I'm not big on steaks, and hubby wasn't feeling like having steak that night, so we both chose seafood dishes.

The complimentary bread basket contained delicious sourdough, from Boudin Bakery:

Hubby's Seafood Cannelloni (US$25.95) - Dungeness crab, shrimp, baby spinach, cheese, mushrooms and sherry cream sauce, with seasonal vegetables. Flavourful and tasty, and the creamy sauce complemented the seafood:

I ordered the Chef's Special Red Snapper (US$32.95), which came topped with shrimp, Dungeness crab. mushrooms and lemon cream. This came accompanied with seasonal vegetables (squash, sugar snap peas and carrots) and baked Idaho potato. This seafood and fish were a little overcooked, but the fish was kept moist with the lemon cream sauce, and I could still enjoy this plate:

Fresh Creamed Spinach (US$5.95) on the side:

Dessert was Pecan Pie with a shortbread crust and glazed pecans. This was very nice, and I loved the crunchiness of it all. Picture was taken by hubby (the lighting was better from his side of the table):

We had an enjoyable dinner at John's Grill. Three months later, I can still remember our excellent waiter who made that dinner memorable.

[Prices quoted above exclude additional taxes and tips.]
John's Grill
63 Ellis St
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
Tel. +1 415 830 4964

John's Grill on Urbanspoon

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