Sunday, February 5, 2012

San Francisco Day 2

What a day!  Up at the crack of dawn since I am in no way used to Pacific Standard Time, me feet hit the ground and I was ready to go!!  It isn't all that often you have a view that allows you to see the sun rise over the bay!

After going down to the lobby to get some coffee and tap into the free wi-fi, my friend and I decided we needed a hearty breakfast to give us fuel for the day....with a definitive suggestion from my new best friend, the morning security guard at the front of the hotel, we headed on our way to a hole-in-the-wall diner literally across the street from our hotel.
 
 
It is because of amazing places like this that I always ask the kind locals for their suggestions when it comes to places to eat.  It was a place I would have walked passed in a heart beat but one that provided exactly what we wanted!  Omelets and eggs benedict were our dishes of choice but as good as all that was what truly blew us away was the fruit....sweet Jesus it was fresh and amazing.  Not accustomed to really great fruit in the middle of winter in Nashville, the west coast provided us with what seemed like the nectar from the gods!!

With our bellies full we set out on our journey!  It was a day filled with sight-seeing...we walked everywhere...we walked through China Town, we saw Coit Tower, The dramatic curves of Lombard Street, the cable cars, Alcatraz, Ghiradelli Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and walked up and down what seemed like every incline the city has to offer.  
       
With some tired feet and hungry bellies we decided to find somewhere to grab some lunch.  We must have planned the day perfectly because what we found was absolutely amazing!  We popped into a lovely restaurant called McCormicks &Kulteo's and ate lunch while over looking the bay....just what we wanted! How can you beat lobster bisque and a caesar salad for LUNCH!!!
  
    
Our view... 
 The menu was just as fresh and spectacular as the view!
 Sourdough Bread that melted in your mouth!
 Grilled Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread with Avocado Aioli and Chipotle Mayonnaise
 Crab Louis Salad with 1000 Island Dressing
 Shrimp and Crab Roll
 Caesar Salad
 Grilled Salmon Club
 Lobster Bisque....the copious amounts of large lobster pieces made this all the more decadent!

 After we finished our lunch it was back on our feet!  We were off to see The Golden Gate Bridge!  It was as spectacular and magnificant as I had always imagined!
The Golden Gate Bridge!
The Exploratorium
I made Mary Morgan climb to the top with me.....no need to mention we both have a slight fear of heights...

Because pictures of ducks are pretty
There was something so ironic to me seeing sailboats sail in front of Alcatraz, one of the most notorious prisons in American history.
After our day of touring was complete we were absolutely spent!  As it turns out we had reason to be tired....we walked 12 miles around the city!!!!  My feet hurt, my legs ached, I had the brain capacity of a brick wall and only a few hours to regain some energy, and personality, before dinner.  With a beer and a hot bath to sooth my aching muscles I was back to my old self....well almost.

Dinner proved interesting!  The restaurant, Joanne D'arc at the Hotel Cornell de France, was decorated with all the tributes to the patron saint one could ever image.  
Statues, murals and stuffed black birds (not really sure about that one) were staring at us from ever nook and cranny of the restaurant!  Once the 4 course meal began all thoughts and concerns about the somewhat unconventional decor were gone from our psyche and we were overcome with the incredible aromas and flavors of this traditional french cuisine.  As the violin played in the background we were taken to another place entirely and it provided the perfect relaxing end to a day filled with movement and excitement!

First course a roasted vegetable soup pureed to the most perfect silky texture
 

Then came the second course
Caprese Salad in dough with goat cheese and roasted red peppers
 Spinach Salad
 Beet Salad

Then it was time for the third course....on to the entrees!

Coq au Vin
 Trout with toasted almonds
 Shrimp and Scallops

Oh the sweet dessert!  It was what can only be described as heavenly perfection!

Grand Marnier souffle
 
 Homemade truffles (according to the waiter they were "just chocolate")
 Chocolate eclair 
 Caramel Creme Brulee
Then it was time for bed....the day had been amazing, seeing more than I ever thought we could fit into one day but left me with about as much energy as a tired puppy!  Off to bed!!
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