Observations on Food in the Bay Area
website - at 1155 Folsom St, between 7th and 8th streets in SOMA, Triptych is a only slightly transformed industrial space, perhaps a one-time warehouse or car shop which is now a combination restaurant and art gallery. It's a fairly small space, with an entirely separate small area of outdoor seating in back. The walls are open corrugated steel, with a couple of skylights and large sheets of solid color fabric hanging from the ceiling to add some color and help mitigate the otherwise highly reflective sound space. Upon the walls are hung a number of pieces of what in my limited experience I would describe as highly abstract, modern art, all painted on square canvases. They also had a DJ spinning mellow techno in the background which fit the very modern feel of the room.
The wine list is very short (and in full on the website), offering a reasonably priced selection of largely French wine, with an average bottle falling around $25. We had a bottle of the 2001 Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone Villages, which I would describe as having a nose of very young and unrefined fruit, medium body, and a fairly short, dry, mineraly finish. Drinkable, but clearly an inexpensive wine ($20 at the restaurant). Thankfully, the food proved to be far superior.
Triptych of Halibut - grilled with pineapple chutney; pan seared with curried coconut; roasted with potato puree. Very nice. Served on a rectangular white dish divided into 3 square segments, each piece of fish was flawlessly cooked, and the taste and texture in each case clearly reflected the difference in ways in which they were cooked. The potato puree pairing was perhaps the best of the 3, with the simple flavor of the potato enhancing without overpowering the light Halibut. The pineapple chutney was also quite good, though the flavor of pineapple was very muted. The curry was the most disappointing, but only because I couldn't taste much of the coconut, and the curry had a hint of the typical yellow curry powder you find in a standard spice rack, which has never impressed me with its flavor. This is not to say that it was bad by any means, however - the worst entry would still rate a 7/10.
Ravioli du Jour - a housemade Goat cheese ravioli in an astoundingly rich cream sauce, this was the winner of Battle Appetizer. Served on a square white plate (we began to notice a theme - all the plates are square and white, and match well all the square art on the walls), the ravioli was light, intensely flavorful, rich, and melted in your mouth while demanding that you have some more of the wonderful sauce.
Halibut Fillet - skillet seared with a blueberry balsamic glaze. Normally Seabass, this has apparently been popular enough that they've had to start substituting Halibut. Very artfully presented, the large piece of fish was in the middle, covered in the dark blue, almost black glaze, and the plate was equally glazed, with one blueberry in each corner. The fish was cooked to perfection, flaking at the slightest touch. The glaze was very interesting, with just a hint of blueberry coming through the balsamic flavor.
Grilled Skirt Steak - with chantrelles, roasted garlic, pancetta, and apple puree. Served thinly sliced, across a bed of the accompaniment. My only complaint was that while I ordered it medium rare, it was past medium when it arrived, without a hint of pink to be seen. The flavor, however, was fantastic. Great texture (if a bit chewy), and the sauce paired wonderfully.
All entrees come with a choice of vegetable and starch, which is served on a separate slightly smaller plate. I had Basmati rice and carrots, which were clearly well buttered in the pan and as such quite tasty.
I can't recall its name, but I had an addictive chocolate creation, which was primarily chocolate cake, with a chocolate mousse filling, all covered in a thin layer of ganache (or perhaps just very soft dark chocolate frosting), which was beyond rich and unbelievably wonderful. It was also the perfect size, served as a small round cylinder that was just enough without overpowering.
My dining companion had a similarly-shaped espresso cake which was reportedly rather tasty.
All told, certainly a good dining experience in a unique setting. Not the most traditionally romantic of locations, but if candles and Old-World Europe isn't your thing, this just might be. The art certainly engenders discussion before the first of the tastiness arrives. The total damage for the evening was $96 before tip.