Stones Throw (San Francisco, CA)
1896 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 12/28/14
For the past number of years, my cousins and I have taken my grandma out for a birthday dinner over the Christmas holiday. This year, we decided on a restaurant in close proximity to my grandmother, Stone’s Throw in the Russian Hill neighborhood. The new American restaurant has been a hit since opening just over a year ago and it would be a new restaurant for all six of us (except for one cousin who had visited previously).
We ordered a number of small plates to share and each ordered a main course.
2013 Orin Swift Cellars Abstract Red, California
WARM MUSHROOM RAGOUT Leek Custard, Confit Egg Yolk, Firebrand Bread
Plenty of mushrooms filled this jar, accompanied by rich leek and egg yolk. Crusty crostini provided the textural element and vehicle to soak up the flavors.
PUFFED POTATO & EGGS Cauliflower Mousse, Chives, Crispy Chicken Skin
These were sensational. A runny egg yolk hid in a potato shell, all of it sitting in a cauliflower mousse and garnished with chicken skin. Crispy, luscious, rich – so good. We ended up ordering multiples of this one.
CLH SHRIMP COCKTAIL Horseradish Panna Cotta, Tomato Water, Celery
Sweet shrimp sat atop a smooth horseradish panna cotta. Interesting. It definitely brought the heat, slightly tempered by the tomato water.
SQUID INK CONCHIGLIE PASTA Spicy Capers, Clams, Calamari, Shrimp, Tender Greens
The pasta was very good with nice texture and a bunch of seafood scattered throughout.
WARM PORK BELLY & AVOCADO SALAD Thai Basil Cilantro Puree, Pickled Chilies, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette
Here, rich pork belly was offset with some lighter, fresh accompaniments from the thai basil-cilantro puree and vinaigrette.
CRISPY-SKINNED WILD VIRGINIA STRIPED BASS Shrimp-Daikon Cake, Farro, Kohlrabi, Mushroom Ramen Broth
As advertised, the striped bass had a crispy skin to match with moist flesh. The broth was smoky and salty with a pleasant miso flavor. My grandmother found it a touch too salty, however.
LIBERTY FARMS DUCK BREAST Duck Leg Roulade, Persimmon, Pecan Crumble, Bourbon-Maple Jus
The duck also had a crispy skin with perfectly cooked medium-rare meat. Both the breast and leg were delicious, though the bourbon-maple jus was a bit too sweet for my tastes. When in moderation, the sauce and duck were a delicious combination.
SLOW-ROASTED PRIME NEW YORK STRIP Porcini Mushroom Puree, Confit Potatoes, Braised Brussels Sprouts
The New York was cooked beautifully (especially compared to the cooking-challenged steaks we had the prior night at Osso Steakhouse), albeit surprisingly a little on the chewy side. However, flavors were good particularly with the porcini puree.
Very simple, but these s’mores were actually quite good. Well-executed, for sure.
SWENSEN’S mint chip
A visit to nearby Swensen’s a childhood favorite, was a must since it was just a block away from the restaurant.
Stone’s Throw was the best restaurant meal I had in SF during the Christmas holiday. The food was comfortable yet interesting, and quite delicious. Oh, and those puffed potatoes…so good. Service was generally strong except for wine pouring. Rather than leaving the bottle on the dining table, the server left it on a center table and wasn’t attentive enough on refilling glasses. As a result, half of the bottle was unfinished at the conclusion of the meal. Just a major downer. I felt that he should have left the bottle at our table for us to help ourselves on refills unless he was absolutely sure he could monitor wine glasses and pour as necessary (which ended up not being the case). Still, we had a very good meal at Stones Throw.
That puffed potato and eggs does look amazing. Sometimes the simple foods are the most delicious when executed properly as in this case. Its amazing what some humans can create to help us enjoy life to the fullest with the simplest of ingredients,