Monday, December 30

2013 Girl's Night Holiday Dinner - Bluestem Brasserie

It's that time of year again for my annual Holiday Girl's Night. I decided to plan a night out in San Francisco instead of an elaborate meal at my house like the last two years because quite frankly, I was really lazy. It's exhausting to cook a pasta meal or engagement chicken in large batches. Although, I would like to note that last year's engagement chicken did result in 2 proposals within the year so I guess the chicken does work. The success of the chicken recipe probably has less to do with the chicken itself and more with the timing. A lady ready for marriage will likely have dropped many hints and/or had discussions with her man about marriage before making the chicken. The relationship was already ripe for a proposal and I think the chicken is just a catalyst. I don't believe anyone wants to become engaged this year so there was no harm in me not cooking anything for the girls.

We stayed at the Marriott Marquis in Union Square and made it a point not to walk any further than 2 blocks around the hotel in our heels. Bluestem Brasserie fit the criteria for dinner since we didn't even need to cross the street. The restaurant is very touristy but conveniently located and had a nice vibe for girl's night. I will show a few of the dishes we ordered.

($27) Seared Scallops and Lobster Ravioli - Day boat scallops, vanilla scented lobster ravioli, mussels, grapefruit fondue, almond, root vegetables
The entire dish was well balanced and the key was in that grapefruit fondue sauce. Buttery and citrusey but not sour. Quite nice. I was so shocked to receive just two scallops, one of which was half the size of the other. The two ravioli in this dish were good too. This portion size leaves so much to be desired. Tastes great though. Such is to be expected for fancy shmancy food.

($14) Steak tartare - quail egg, mache, pistachio oil
I'm in love like you wouldn't even believe. This steak tartare with the delicate crater of quail egg yolk was so smooth, raw, well seasoned, just oomph! I'm at a loss for words to describe the quality of the beef and the seasonings mixed in. However, what I've really fallen in love with and will continue to hunt for on restaurant menus is mache lettuce. It is not a micro greens version of butter lettuce but that's what it tastes like. Delicate, buttery, yay my new ingredient obsession.

($28) Fallon Hills Ranch Lamb - Goat cheddar polenta, broccoli rabe, red chili, pine nuts - red grape gremolata, crisp maitake, port jus
I did not get to try this. Looks fantastic.

Grass fed burger - This was the special burger of the day which I can't find on the menu again. For reference, their Brasserie Burger is $14.50. I also did not get to try this. Not a bad price for a burger with side of fries.

($7) Grilled flatbread - pear butter, bleu cheese, lardo, pomegranate
Even at $7, the cheapest item we ordered was a side dish, and it was just alright. The pear butter is nice, you can actually taste the pear. The ratio of bread to toppings was uneven and resulted in mostly plain bread.

I recommend Bluestem Brasserie if you're visiting SF from out of town and staying in the Union Square area. It's very touristy. The food is good although I wouldn't say its indicative of San Francisco culture, but I'm no expert. That's why I write about San Jose. Despite all this, you will still enjoy your meal here. These prices are expensive but standard for an upscale restaurant in a tourist heavy location. The waiters and waitresses were fun. They asked what we were celebrating and I said, "I just got my MBA degree." The waiter responds, "Oh cool, I like basketball." Hah! Made my night.

Steak tartare, get it!

Here are some photos of the ladies in our finest. People are labeled by their Instagram handles.

We hopped over to Local Edition for a speakeasy-type, underground bar night It was fun.
My San Francisco foodie @sherrybeary

My San Jose DFW's @cbeargo and @justshootmy

Vanilla has no Instagram account (like what?!? Who doesn't have one nowadays?) but look at her dimples though.

Next morning, no walk of shame.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas break. I'm in vacation mode and just typing this entry took all my efforts. After the New Year holiday, I will update more. 2014 has some exciting things in store.

Bluestem Brasserie on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks like you ladies had so much fun. So sad that I missed out!

    1. Should I make this semi-annual for you?



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