Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Celebration of Sorts

I like the title of this blog because it reminds me of chapter 1 in J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit called An Unexpected Party.

Jon and I went out to a lovely dinner tonight to celebrate the debut of his computer at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas last weekend. The restaurant was called The Carnelian Room and it was on the 52nd floor of the BofA building in downtown San Francisco. It was easy enough to find but we were a bit late, luckily there was parking in the building. It took a moment to get in the garage though because of the security guard that was searching trunks of all cars trying to enter. Jon rolled down his window and the guard said:

"You can park here this evening but in order to do so I need to search your trunk." I spent a hot second dreading it because I knew how ridonkulously messy Jon's car trunk really was and was worried we might be subject to further investigation. So I said:

"What if there's just a ton of tennis stuff back there, is that lawful?"

Security Guard: You don't have any explosives back there do ya?

Me: Not tonight Sir, No.

Security Guard: Ok, Just a quick check then.

(Jon pops the trunk, security guard takes a half a second to check it out and closes it.)

Security Guard: That rifle back theres not loaded, right?

Me: No....Neither one of them are.

Security: (laughing) OK then! you folks have a good night.

At this point I feel obligated to point out that that conversation actually happened.
So that was funny. We had to take the "express elevator" up to the 52nd floor and it went so high so fast that our ears kept popping like we were flying in a plane. The view at the top (what it is most famous for) was totally amazing of both sides of the bay, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz...Oakland. I read some reviews of the place after I made the reservation and saw that people were really split 50/50 on the actual quality of this restaurant. We had a great experience and a wonderful night eating dinner while the sun set beyond the Golden Gate Bridge.
First I had the scallops and Prawns Salpicon with pickled bell peppers and orange vinaigrette. It was served cold and was WAY yummy. It was my first time having scallops too! Jon got the Crispy Dungeness Roll which was like a combination of a crab cake and an egg roll, it was so utterly delicious I was, dare I say...Jealous?
For our main courses I went wild and ordered the Seared Fennel Seed Ahi Tuna. Seafood is a new thing for me and I am loving it but when the waiter casually said "aaand that will be done rare, I hope that's okay" My heart stopped beating for a few seconds. I really felt like there was no choice but to say, Sure! But you better suggest a good wine too...which he did and I liked the one he chose. My meal was good, tasty, unique and definitely had a lot different flavors to enjoy. Jon had The Steak River Farm Kobe New York Steak. And I quote"
"It was very rare which actually, since I've known you, I have become wary of but actually it was very tender and good and I was glad it was rare."
I had a bite and it was indeed delicious.
For dessert Jon had the Carnelian Room Tarte Tartin which was a sort of apple-y delight. Jon didn't think it was amazing.
I got the fresh fruit, cheese and crackers dessert but by the time it came I could think of nothing but collapsing on my couch.
Some reviews I read claimed that everything from the food to the service at this place fails to meet up to its reputation but I totally disagree.

The only bad review I can give the place was the totally sour parking kiosk guy that refused to give us any information about where the freeway was. But don't worry, we told that guy what's up.