I have always favoured Italian cuisine, not only for the exquisite flavours but the wide range of vegetarian dishes available. Acquerello has been on my list of Michelin Star restaurants I’d most adore to visit for a while now and after launching a social-media spy operation on Acquerello’s Instagram, I made the decision to spontaneously book in for a four course meal one evening.
The dress code for the establishment is formal, which of course is not really an issue for me, considering I get stopped in the local supermarket with people asking me ’are you going to a wedding?’ I secretly quite enjoy dress codes as I find it can add to the experience of formality. I find some forms of casual wear and modern trends a little bit distracting so I was pleased I could actually focus on the visionary splendour of the food without my fashion-mind being bamboozled by attire choices.
The restaurant was created by Giancarlo Paterlini and Executive Chef, Suzette Gresham, since it’s opening it has been highly credited for its phenomenal fine Italian cuisine, wine and excellent personal service. One of the main premises behind Acquerello is the believe that ’refined luxury is always in style. Our desire is to provide our guests an experience of classic and contemporary Italian tastes in an elegant dining atmosphere.’
It is situated in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighbourhood, I therefore strongly recommend an Uber unless you wish to work up an appetite from the hills. The outside of the building is pleasing for the eye with a grandiose, sparkling clean entrance and my much adored blue hydrangeas either side of the entrance. Inside you are instantly struck by the ambiance of the low, warmly lit mood lighting, with the flickering of candle light.
There is a great sense of space allowing your eyes to navigate towards and appreciate the interesting interior design; modern yet airing an essence of traditional Italian styles with the exposed wooden beams. The restaurant prides itself on the most beautiful fresh bouquets of flowers which instantly made me certain that I was in the right place for me. I think the use of modern art really gives the place a contemporary edge.
There was soft music playing in the background and due to a small number of tables available, it enables you to really engage with your servers and the company you have with you. I find overly busy restaurants can leave me feeling quite anxious and overwhelmed by the background noise; so this gave me a strong sense of having a very personal one-to-one experience. The food specialist who was my server was utterly excellent; initially you decide on how many courses you would like – I opted for four, then they best pick out dishes from the menu for you. This type of dining is a little alien to me, yet due to my constant indecisive nature, I actually much preferred having the control taken out of my hands. After explaining I was vegetarian, the specialist really listened and was engaged with everything I said. Before the entrees were even served, I was given a little fruit shot to drink and my first beautiful mouthful of delicious flavours. Every time a new dish was brought out before delving in, our specialist would talk us through the history of the ingredients, the philosophy behind it, the flavours and overall vision. I found it very enlightening and I also could immediately sense the natural enthusiasm and love for food from the specialist. It was not a rehearsed speech; it was an individual who showed genuine passion for Italian Cuisine.
The feasting begins…
The shot was punchy, non-alcoholic and vibrant on the palette. The perfect palette cleanser.
I was a little intimidated with the amount of food that may be served. Usually the words four courses are not part of my dictionary as I have a very small appetite. However, I very much enjoyed these bite-sized nibbles which oozed with flavours of tomato and cheese. Delectable.
Also can we have a moment of marvel over the wonderful plates – these must have a place in my home!
Heavenly bite-sized balls of deliciousness. Their homemade bread, butter and salt was also brought out on the table and was something quite special.
Bellow was the white sturgeon reserve caviar smoked sturgeon galetta with leeks, brioche, crème fraiche. The range of textures presented in this dish was truly an art form.
We also had the Swiss chard and mushroom raviolo with brown butter, Parmesan and Balsamic vinegar which was divine but sadly I cannot find any photos of it.
Bellow was a personalised dish brought out to me, which was utterly scrumptious and again, very aesthetically pleasing!
One of my favourite foods has always been salads. I class myself as a salad connoisseur and frankly, this salad with burratta was wonderful.
Risotto time! Every single mouthful was heavenly.
The dessert was in fact, the highlight of my evening. The technicality of crafting the concept was mind-blowing. It appears at first to be an egg but then when cut into it reveals an outer shell of white chocolate and inside of panna cotta with a fruit infused filling, surrounded by vanilla. Every aspect of the dish highly complimented each other. I’d award another michelin star just based on this dish!
Wait… more treats?
Thank you for the wonderful Acquerllo experience!