Prospect is dim
Gail’s son Toby is home for the summer, living in the guest house with his girlfriend Molly, both of them working on a small organic specialty farm in Sunol. One of the customers of this farm is the restaurant Prospect, in San Francisco. Friday night, we left Jack and Lisa at the Picasso exhibit and joined the kids there for dinner.
Situated at the corner of Spear and Folsom, just south of Market in the downtown area, Prospect is hip, slick and cool. The crowd is all young, loud and good looking. I’m lucky they let me in the door.
The menu is all modern and organic, there just isn’t much of it. We were all surprised at how few offerings there are.
Which is not to say that we couldn’t find something to eat. Toby and Molly eat vegetarian, and the house offered to make an off-menu dish for them, as well as modify another dish for them.
The biggest problem we had was simply getting our food–it took more than 45 minutes for the first courses to arrive. Possibly, that was because there was a party of 22 people across from us (older, Asian, all the men at one end all the women at the other). Trying to get 22 dishes out at the same time for group like that really taxes a kitchen.
I started with the foie gras torchon. “Torchon”, I now know, means wrapped in a towel and poached–I got a very dense, round piece of foie gras, served with cinnamon raisin toast and tiny champagne grapes. Although I prefer it to be warm and this was cold, I managed to choke it all down.
A few years ago, Gail and I went to Julius Castle, a venerable old establishment on the hill in the City. I wanted one fish served on the setup for another, and the house refused to accommodate me. Prospect is better than that–when Gail wanted the scallops, but the corn from the salmon, it was no problem.
I’m pretty adventurous in the food department, so there was no chance that I’d pass up the goat. They offered a chop, a piece of sausage, a piece of belly (like rich bacon) and a “roulade”, whatever that was. You don’t get goat everyday, and it’s a shame. It was delicious, and the best sized portion of anything we ordered. The kids had the gnocchi, and it seemed like a tiny little plate to me.
Go out with a pair of 21-year-olds, and dessert is sure to be on the program. We were hoping for some to be comped due to the slow service, but that didn’t happen. Still, we had the Mississippi mud cake, the Prospect Sundae and the Griddled Peach Crepes, and there were no leftovers.
As I write this, it seems like a pretty good place, yet none of us were excited or much interested in going back. I think that’s mostly due to the slow service, which might be a one time thing and not an indication of structural failure of their system. The food was certainly good, yet not spectacular. We didn’t hate it, just weren’t thrilled. I guess that’s all I have to say.