Monday, August 18, 2008

Quick Getaway

This last Saturday, the lady and I took a one night mini-vacation out to San Francisco. We had dinner reservations at Ristorante Milano situated in the Russian Hill district of the city. When we arrived, the small restaurant was packed and there were some people waiting around for a table. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but as soon as we gave our name, the host points us to our table that was definitely reserved for us. Awesome.

As I mentioned, the restaurant was small, and it was loud... but, I think that was mostly because of a birthday dinner party that was there. We started off with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, which we shared and both thought was good. We really had no problem at all gobbling up every last bit of it.

For our main courses, I had the Guazzetto di Pesce, which was really an assortment of seafood served over Polenta made with fish stock. I liked my dish, which was flavorful. The seafood was fresh tasting, and on top of that, I was pleased with the quantity of food. She had a gnocchi dish, of which I only got a tiny taste. From my single bite, I could tell that I'd enjoy it, but I like gnocchi usually, so I'm probably not that the best to judge.

For dessert, we really wanted to have some cannoli, but that wasn't part of their selection. I guess this makes sense, as I later learned that cannolis are Sicilian, and this was a Northern Italian restaurant. So, we had to settle for a chocolate cake with nuts and strawberries. The first bites of the cake on the outer edges weren't so good. It was just a tad dry, but once we got to the inner parts, we quickly changed our opinions. And, soon the cake was gone.

Anyway, I wouldn't say that the food was anything amazing or spectacular, but it really was above average and for the prices being charged, I felt it was a great value. I would definitely go back again, and I would have no reservations recommending this place to others. I think next time I want to try a pasta dish, as I was really waffling between what I got and the Lasagna.

I should also mention that service was excellent. The water glasses were always filled, and the server was highly energetic and enthusiastic, but was never intrusive. It was a waitstaff that deserves some applause.

After dinner, we checked into our hotel, Le Meridien. The guy at the desk then informs us that we are in for a treat... a phenomenal upgrade. He was not kidding.

We ended up in a full-on Business Suite, which we found out later was over three times the rate of the standard room that we had booked. The bedroom was large with a good-sized Plasma TV, and the suite had its own balcony that we could walk out onto. Not only that, but it also had a nice view of the Bay Bridge. Additionally, there was an extra office room and the bathroom was huge to boot. Score!

After check-in, we had some navigational difficulties, as we proceeded to get somewhat lost on our way to Ruby Skye. Eventually, we made it and we had a few drinks and partied there for a little bit. The place was absolutely packed, and the dance floor was really crowded, but the music was great as usual, and we enjoyed ourselves.

The next day we hit up the Chinatown area, and we had dim sum at New Asia for lunch. There wasn't anything really great about the place, but I thought the food was decent enough. It was your typical large dim sum restaurant with plenty of carts whizzing by, so there was never any shortage of food to eat. Although the price wasn't too bad, I am pretty sure that I wouldn't go out of my way just to eat there again.

Afterward, we walked around a bit more. We checked out some of those trinket and knick-knack stores, and then we strolled around Union Square briefly. Then, the weekend sadly came to a close. And, here I am waiting for some tests to finish running so I can go home.

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