For Sean's birthday we, with our friend Suella, went to Aqua, voted one of the five most beautiful restaurants in San Francisco by Michael Bauer on SFGate.com. Aqua is definitely eye pleasing with the simple lines, the subtle colors, artwork, and oversized mirrors hanging on the wall. We started off with an amuse bouche trio compliments of the chef. The teaser consisted of duck gyoza, a salsa soup, and a croquette.
We had the option of proceeding with three courses or seven. Although the seven courses were tempting, the offerings found on the regular menu won us over. It was difficult to select from the appetizer list because we wanted to try each and every single one of them. Ultimately Sean opted for the foie gras terrine, Suella the Maine diver scallop with sweetbread ravioli, english peas, and chantrelle mushrooms, and I chose the hamachi with charred pineapple. Of course we tried each other’s selections. The foie gras was accompanied by these toast points with a hint of orange marmalade. It was the perfect pairing with the smooth and buttery foie gras! Presentation wise Suella’s was the prettiest and in the satisfaction department, it did not disappoint. My hamachi was so fresh and with the sweet tartness of the pineapple, it was perfection!
For our entree, Sean went with the Maine lobster with english peas, heirloom carrots. Suella had the John Dory with pork belly and leek fondue. I had difficulty picking between the salmon with cardoon and white bean terrine and prosciutto and the halibut with Artichoke, Fennel, Saffron Fumet. Ultimately I decided on the former. Again, we sampled each other’s entrees and of the three, my favorite was Sean’s fare. The lobster was perfectly cooked and the vegetables complimented it sublimely.
The last course was dessert and again it was tough to pick! As it turns out, there were six selections and we ended up ordering the odd numbered items, because we are such an odd bunch! Anyway, Sean found himself gravitating to the carmel soufflé. Suella’s interest was piqued by the citrus parfait with lemon curd and orange ganache. And I selected the dark chocolate pear tart with almond custard and honey ice cream. I liked mine but wasn’t terribly thrilled by it. I would have liked more crust on my tart and the pear was the obvious focal point in that dessert. On this round the winner goes to Suella because, as per our server, this one was actually the most “chocolate-y” on the list. And that chocolate went so well with all the citrus notes in the dessert.
In the end were happy to have selected the three courses, not only because of the amazing food, but because we were absolutely stuffed! Aqua proves that fine dining can be satisfying! Definitely a keeper!
252 California St
(between Front St & Battery St)
San Francisco, CA 94111
Website | Reservations | (415) 956-9662