Special Event
Daniel Patterson
Daniel Patterson
Elisabeth Daniel
San Francisco
Daniel Patterson

Thursday, May 9, 7:00 P.M.
Members $95, guests $120

When the nationally acclaimed Babette in Sonoma, California, closed its doors in 1999 (the owners, husband-and-wife team Daniel Patterson and Elisabeth Ramsey, had lost their lease), foodies across America mourned. Happily, the couple re-surfaced the following year in nearby San Francisco, where they opened a restaurant that's got the whole country talking again. "The exquisite harmony between the stylish dining room run by Ramsey and the pristine contemporary fare prepared by Patterson, makes their restaurant my favorite among the city's extraordinary crop of newcomers,"USA Today wrote last year in a characteristic review.

The reviewers spoke as if with one voice, and the acclaim was universal. The restaurant, Paul Reidinger wrote in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, "combines, like a Swiss watch, the elements of elegance, precision, and beauty." Meanwhile, San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Michael Bauer favorably compared Patterson's sweetbread ravioli to internationally revered chef Paul Bocuse's truffle soup. The ravioli, Bauer wrote, is "a dish every bit as memorable." Bauer awarded Elisabeth Daniel three and one-half stars and gave the restaurant top honors in a roundup of his favorite restaurants for 2000. And in his own three-and-one-half-star review in the San Francisco Examiner, Bill Citara noted that "each of [Patterson's] elegant, sophisticated dishes has been pared to its essence, stripped of anything that detracts from the purity of the ingredients and the chef's vision."

Last year, we at the Beard Foundation added our own voice to the chorus, nominating Elisabeth Daniel for Best New Restaurant. That it lost to multi-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse can hardly be considered a reproach. Patterson has a French connection himself. Raised in Boston, he spent his boyhood summers in France, sharing, as he wrote in his résumé, "long, lovely meals with French families." He began working in a neighborhood restaurant when he was 14, and later dropped out of Duke University to pursue a cooking career. By 1997, Patterson had earned a berth on Food & Wine's list of Best New Chefs. Previously at Babette's and now at the eponymous Elisabeth Daniel, he and his wife share a vision of quietly impeccable food with atmosphere to match. A couple of years ago, Patterson was asked by San Francisco Focus how he constructed a particular dish. He quoted Michelangelo: 'I chipped away everything that wasn't David."

 

Crab Rémoulade with Coriander-Lime Gelée
Vegetable Emincé Seasoned with Szechuan Peppercorns and Basil on Endive
Foie Gras Terrine on Sesame Crackers with
Pine Nut-Sesame Brittle
     Champagne Duval-Leroy Cuvée Paris NV

Crayfish Panna Cotta with Sevruga Caviar and Sorrel Coulis

     Roederer Estate L'Hermitage 1996

Steelhead Salmon Mi-Cuit with Asparagus, Fennel, Mint, and Seville Orange-Infused Veal Jus

     Acacia Pinot Noir 2000

Duck Breast with Baby Bok Choy, Black Forbidden Rice, and Lapsang Souchong

     Philippe Verzier Saint-Joseph La Madone 1998

Bonne-Bouche Allison Hooper with Peppercress

     Henri Bourgeoise Grande Réserve Sancerre 2000

Warm Banana-Chocolate Pastilla with Tamarind Cream

     Jacques Laverrière Clos Chatart Banyuls 1993

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