Thursday, January 19, 2012

Leisurely Lunch at Technique Restaurant, CCA

Today, my bestie and I made a quick drive over the bridge and in to the city for lunch at the Technique restaurant located inside the California Culinary Academy.  It is managed by the chef instructors, and all of the cooking and plating is done completely by the students, (with some help by the instructors of course!). The restaurant was unfortunately not a part of my curriculum, so I did not have the opportunity to work at the restaurant during my time at CCA. And from what I hear, the restaurant will not be around for too much longer, as the school is no longer offering the class in the new curriculum. What a shame! I think the restaurant should be an experience that every culinary student should, well, experience.

As we arrived at the restaurant, we were immediately greeted with a warm and genuine smile from Beth, the floor manager. She took us to our table, and we were promptly welcomed by our student waiter, Ryan. We had water on the table in a matter of a minute, and house made bread with oil and balsamic shortly followed. I was impressed with the timeliness and organization. And because the chef knew we were coming in for lunch today, we found this sweet surprise in our menus....

Our drinks came out shortly after being ordered, and my hot tea pot was refilled twice with hot water, (much appreciated on this cold and rainy day). I wasn't thrilled to see that there was not a vegetarian option on the menu, but I didn't give it a second thought as I knew the chef would be happy to make me a special veggie plate. And for just $10 for a three course meal, I would have been happy with just soup and salad.

I had the soup, a special veggie plate, and the chocolate mousse. My friend had the beet salad, salmon, and chocolate mousse. I thoroughly enjoyed the hot tomato soup on this rainy day, and my friend loved her beet salad (she usually orders it wherever we go!). And then our entrees came out. I was so pleased to see a plate piled nicely with an assortment of colors and textures. And then I took my first bite, the quinoa cake was the most flavorful quinoa I have ever tasted. I think there was a fennel sauce, with sauteed asparagus and arugula, ciopollini's, pickled onions, roasted tomato, and arugula micro greens. We both cleaned our plates. Our chocolate mousse was a generous serving in a wine glass, and was pure chocolately-airy-goodness!

After lunch, we decided to drive over to the Ferry Building, to tour the artisanal shops and enjoy a glass of wine. We both appreciated the smell and colors of all the fresh produce, the perfectly packaged handcrafted chocolates, fresh baked breads, blocks of smelly cheese, oh, and let's not forget the "Salty Pig Parts", as one of the vendors signs read. It was pure culinary delight!

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