Breakfast signifies the start of a day. Which is why whether its the night at 4am, the morning at 7am, or the afternoon at 1pm, I usually run around trying to find a spot, touted as brunch for better appeal, wishing for a sign that the day has just begun and that everything will be awesome.
While staying at the St Regis San Francisco, a counterpart to the iconic New York staple, I noticed it was quite distinct from its Eastern favorite. It was lusciously surrounded by panoramic views, a relaxing pool and luxurious comforts that came with it, the radiant elegance and understated nature reflected the city itself well. One which was not pretentious by frilly luxuries, but put effort into meaningful things and craftsmanship.
Which is perhaps partially why I was intrigued by my welcome present, their signature strawberry chocolate cake. I tried their Lobby Lounge for a lunch-ish brunch-ish meal, which was a convenient midpoint in a city infused with foods and flavors from around the world. San Francisco is essentially a second home to me owing to the sunny vibes, culinary connection and general lifestyle affiliation.
I had anticipated acquiring a light lunch, and ended up with a couple of doses of entrees and naturally, two desserts which sent me right back up into the skies seeking merriment in the views and pools that the luxury hotel had to offer.
The bouche amuse was a honey yoghurt topped with fresh cherry tomatoes in green and red, with a slice of Parmesan cheese. An salty and sweet combination, it was a sparklingly light and fresh start to a tranquil afternoon.
The asparagus risotto with parmesan cheese and roasted asparagus came next, a lusciously green hue all over that had a rich, cheese scented aroma. Perfectly cooked and creamy, the fibrous solid chunks of asparagus were a beautiful textural contrast to the shaved and roasted flavors, elevating this trending vegetable to a gourmet level.
Almost like compromising for the fact that I had already planned to gobble two desserts, the next was another healthy and artistically created plate of red and yellow beets with goat cheese, cheese touille and asparagus dipping sauce smeared in the shape of an asparagus, with olive oil and my favorite pistachios to make it a Middle Eastern meal of sorts. Having loved beet salads in cities and countries aplenty, this one was up to the mark both visually and taste-wise. The vibrantly fresh juicy beets were bursting with flavor, offset by the bitterness of the sauce, the crunch of the pistachio, and pulled together by the saltiness and density of the cheese chunks. A complete salad in many ways, and one that I could’ve doubled up on, easily.
The signature dessert arrived first, one that I had marveled in my bedroom already. It was a chocolate cheesecake on a bed of chocolate crumbly cake, with whole glazed raspberries and sangria sauce. The berries took the crowning glory here, both in terms of their flavor explosion and their immaculate crown-like pedestal on the bittersweet cheesecake, which worked to make it less saccharine and more on the sensual, seductive side.
I ended with a petite butterscotch pudding with popcorn whipped cream, candied pecans and chocolate shortbread. Popcorn has always been a gastronomical favorite, for I do not care much for it in isolation, but do enjoy its mix-ins, especially in a gourmet treatment. Here it worked in giving a buttery salty flair to the sweet butterscotch, but it was the dark chocolate shortbread that rounded up the party in my mouth with its rich and dense flavor.
And so ended an exciting saga of the a mid-day pick me up, as I continued to explore what this luxury hotel had to offer to my dreams and I, before I indulged in another meal in one of the finest culinary cities of the West.