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OTOH, Marlena Spieler just ate at Piperade with a passle of chefs and loved it.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDG17I4JL51.DTL

 

From that article..

A while back, I was at an event sponsored by the San Francisco Professional Food Society in which a number of chefs gathered at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel for a panel discussion on restaurant trends. Afterward, as canapes were being nibbled and bubbly sipped, someone whispered in my ear: "The chefs are going to dinner, and would you like to tag along?"

.......

 

So we piled into cars, ending up at Gerald Hirogoyen's Basque-French restaurant, Piperade, where I was seated with Bay Area star chefs Hubert Keller, Bradley Ogden, Jean Alberti, as well as culinary legend Marion Cunningham and restaurant/food consultant/cheese expert Clark Wolf.

 

I'm not sure what Ms.Spieler meant by 'a while back' but if Marion Cunningham was at table with her then that 'while' is likely more than a year ago. Perhaps quite a bit more. Marion Cunningham has been ill and out of commission for quite a 'while'.

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Piperade: My one experience there was a few months back, and the memory isn't really very clear at this point. As I recall, some of the food was good, some was merely OK, and there was at least one dish (Cameron's?) that was actively not good. My one strong memory is that the service was terrible -- at least one person sat there with no food at all for most of the entree course, with no apologies -- and the location and setting were unappealing to me. It's a fine place to eat, if you happen to be casting about for fine dining in that part of town, but IMHO it's not worth a special trip and certainly not at the same level as the other fine-dining places being mentioned.

 

HeyJude, KRamsey and CCrotty were at Piperade with me... maybe they can jog my memory?

Sorry, can't provide any more specifics about Piperade, but Scorched has the overall vibe right. I wouldn't go back (or recommend a visit) unless there was a strong reason: personal connection w/staff, report of life-changing food experience, unavoidable social commitment, state visit, graduation dinner, bail fundraiser, royal audience, "sit-down" with the Don...the usual stuff.

 

c

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To my mind, Ms. Spieler's account speaks to the same point several of us have already made: that in the glow of exceptional company, our memories of the food at Piperade are embellished beyond reality. But surely, if she loved the cheeses, I have no reason to doubt that whenever she was there, the cheeses were indeed good. At this time, who knows?

 

But ulterior epicure: do you often fill a whole visit with "destination" meals? Doesn't palate fatigue set in? (Lucky you if not ;) ; somehow I fear it would for me.)

 

Edited to add: pim, the time I ate at Piperade was the time I met first you. Remember? :lol:

Edited by Suzanne F
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I, too, was at the "Welcome Suzanne" dinner at Piperade. The food sucked. Well, at least the lamb did. Totally flavorless. I remember wondering how lamb could possibly be so tasteless. Needless to say I haven't been back since but perhaps it was just a bad night or I misordered. Hate it when that happens. :lol:

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Just came back from a short but glorious visit to SF. When it's on, it's golden. Stayed at the Archbishop's Mansion, a 15 room restored Victorian, overlooking Alamo Square. Each room is named after a different opera. ( We stayed in Tosca.) With Noel Coward's grand piano and crystal chandeliers, it was over the top opulence as only San Francisco can offer. Ate my way thru Swan's Oyster Depot. By the time I finished, there was no food left in the ocean. :lol:

Vesuvio's for drinks after an afternoon spent at City Lights. Bought a black pearl necklace, a roll of hand made rice paper, and thick red bean curd sesame donuts in Chinatown. Bahn mi sandwiches in the Tenderloin for late night snacks. An afternoon spent reading, drinking champagne, and watching the rain roll down my window and dissolve the colors on the street. Absolutely magical. Just open your eyes.

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Just came back from a short but glorious visit to SF. When it's on, it's golden. Stayed at the Archbishop's Mansion, a 15 room restored Victorian, overlooking Alamo Square. Each room is named after a different opera. ( We stayed in Tosca.) With Noel Coward's grand piano and crystal chandeliers, it was over the top opulence as only San Francisco can offer.

Ahhh. I do love that place.

 

Vesuvio's for drinks after an afternoon spent at City Lights*.

For g. johnson: Ahhh. I do love that place.

 

Absolutely magical. Just open your eyes.

Ahhh. (By the way, it's always on. :lol: )

 

* Emphasis mine.

 

Edit to add: Glad you had a good time!

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Ahhh. I do love that place.

For g. johnson: Ahhh. I do love that place.

Ahhh. (By the way, it's always on. :lol: )

 

* Emphasis mine.

 

Edit to add: Glad you had a good time!

I think it depends on the time and season.

I used to go to SF during the late seventies punk scene - the Avengers, Dead Kennedys , Sex Pistols at Winterland. The Cockettes were friends of mine. I always found San Francisco cold and humorless during that period. Everyone was so ridiculously PC and the city always freezing!

Recently I have been traveling there for business and pleasure and she seems softer, a little more inviting. But I'm in love, and with someone who's spent a great deal of time there as well, so we've both been seeing SF a little differently.

Maybe discovering a city is like falling in love - it's beautiful and sexy and you can't wait to see it/do it again. New York holds the same attraction for me as well. Perhaps that should be a new thread - "Cities that turn me on".

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I think it depends on the time and season.

I used to go to SF during the late seventies punk scene - the Avengers, Dead Kennedys , Sex Pistols at Winterland. The Cockettes were friends of mine. I always found San Francisco cold and humorless during that period. Everyone was so ridiculously PC and the city always freezing!

Recently I have been traveling there for business and pleasure and she seems softer, a little more inviting. But I'm in love, and with someone who's spent a great deal of time there as well, so we've both been seeing SF a little differently.

Maybe discovering a city is like falling in love - it's beautiful and sexy and you can't wait to see it/do it again. New York holds the same attraction for me as well. Perhaps that should be a new thread - "Cities that turn me on".

Well, I see your point, I guess, but NYC and other places with a happening punk scene in those days were pretty cold and humorless as well, as I recall. Part of the package.

 

Anyway, we doubtless were at some of the same shows together. I definitely saw the Pistols at Winterland. Do you remember some of the other SF local groups? (I'm thinking Indoor Life, Tuxedomoon, The Touchtones (Hi, Rancho!), Voice Farm)? Ever go to shows at (the former) People's Temple on Geary? Mabuhay Gardens on Broadway?

 

But I fell in love with the City decades ago, so of course I'm biased, and it seems like she's always 'on' to me. I think your idea for a thread on "cities that turn me on" is a great one. Others for me in the States would include NYC, of course, and Boston, Santa Fe, New Orleans, Seattle and Portland. I guess I'd have to include Washington DC, if only because I've lived there and I love its ridiculous layout.

 

Further afield: London is a great city, and of course Paris. St. Petersburg is awesome, but talk about cold! Amsterdam is fun, but The Hague won my heart when I was living there. Of course, there should be a "Cities we are curious about" thread as well. For me that would include Buenos Aires, Chicago and Quebec, for starters.

 

Cheers,

 

Squeat

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Just came back from a short but glorious visit to SF. When it's on, it's golden. Stayed at the Archbishop's Mansion, a 15 room restored Victorian, overlooking Alamo Square. Each room is named after a different opera. ( We stayed in Tosca.) With Noel Coward's grand piano and crystal chandeliers, it was over the top opulence as only San Francisco can offer.

My first wife (then a refugee from Reed College) was living in that building when I met her, circa 1966. It was a rooming house for poor artists, owned by an architect (Piero Patri) and known as the "Patri House." Some of its current opulence is, of course, added on. When the 1966 Hunters Point Riots spilled over to the Western Addition, my wife-to-be was afraid to go home one night, moved into my Telegraph Hill pad, and it was literally curtains for me.
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My first wife (then a refugee from Reed College) was living in that building when I met her, circa 1966. It was a rooming house for poor artists, owned by an architect (Piero Patri) and known as the "Patri House." Some of its current opulence is, of course, added on. When the 1966 Hunters Point Riots spilled over to the Western Addition, my wife-to-be was afraid to go home one night, moved into my Telegraph Hill pad, and it was literally curtains for me.

 

What? The curtains?

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