02 Oct 2012 / Brohaus Dinner at Gary Danko

At Brohaus, we have been meaning to have a fancy dinner every month. We talked about it, threw around some names and tried getting reservations to some places, but never got around to actually having a dinner. Finally, in the middle of last month, six of us drove all the way to the northern end of San Francisco to Gary Danko. It is a Michelin Star winning contemporary American restaurant in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood.

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The dining experience was expectedly great. The menu is divided into categories like appetizers, fish and seafood, etc. Guests can choose between either a 3, 4 or 5 course menu. Each guest can individually choose the number of courses and which categories they come from. Our host said that we could even order everything from one category, but didn’t recommend it. He also assured us that the portion sizes would be adjusted so that everyone would leave satisfied, regardless of the number of courses ordered. This gave us all a chance to not only order what we wanted, but to also try our hands at creating a balanced menu.

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The wait staff was amazing. When each course came out, three waiters would come, each with two plates. Then, they each stood between two of us, made eye contact and then served the person to their left in unison. After explaining the dish, they served the person to their right and explained that dish.

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This picture accurately captures how we felt after dinner.

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I almost forgot to mention the food. It was, to say the least, amazing. In many ways, the ingredients and dishes were what you would expect from a contemporary American restaurant: eclectic dishes and ingredients with an interesting twist. Chef Gary Danko really understands food and how to craft an experience around it. Each dish had its own character while not breaking from the chef’s style. It’s hard to describe the tasting and eating experience in words. Instead, I’ll leave you with pictures of the delicious food.

On the house: Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Gespacho

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Risotto with Lobster, Rock Shrimp, Shimeji Mushrooms, Corn, Roasted Tomatoes and Peas

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Dungeness Crab Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, Avocado, Cilantro and Smoked Pepper Rémoulade

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Sweet Corn Soup with Dungeness Crab, Bacon, Red Pepper, Crème Fraîche and Chive Biscuit

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Glazed Oysters with Osetra Caviar, Zucchini and Lettuce Cream

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Crispy Farm Egg with White Polenta, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Frisée and Pancetta

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Roast Maine Lobster with Potato Purée, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Corn and Tarragon

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Horseradish Crusted Salmon Medallion with Dilled Cucumbers and Mustard Sauce

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Striped Bass with Arugula Pesto, Basil Gnocchi, Tomato and Cucumbers

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Seared Ahi Tuna with Avocado, Nori, Enoki Mushrooms and Lemon Soy Dressings

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Herb Crusted Lamb Loin with Tian of Summer Vegetables and Polenta

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Seared Sea Scallops with Beluga Lentils, Red Peppers, Madras Curry Vinaigrette and Mint

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Seared Filet of Beef with Yukon Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomato-Corn Relish and Basil Butter

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Lemon Pepper Duck Breast with Duck Hash, Bacon Braised Endive and Port Glazed Figs

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Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Berries, Caramelized Pecans and Strawberry Sorbet

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Lemon Soufflé Cake with Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta and Raspberry Sorbet

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Warm Louisiana Butter Cake with Peaches, Huckleberry Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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French Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches with Three Sauces

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Miniature dessert plate on the house. I forgot the proper name for these even though I’ve had them at many restaurants. Update: They are called Petit Fours. Thanks Julia and Leslie!

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Final word: Gary Danko was great. If there weren’t so many other good restaurants in the Bay Area and around the world, I would come again soon. It is the fifth Michelin Star winning restaurant that I have visited since last year and the 10th of restaurants on the Micheline Guide. I’d say that it ranks number two in terms of experience after Aldea in New York.