Sunday, June 23, 2013


We had tickets last night to see "Sylvia," at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco's Fort Mason. Since there are few dining options at Fort Mason, we splurged on dinner at Green's before the play.

"Sylvia" is a play by A.R. Gurney (whose work includes"Love Letters"). This production is by Shakespeare at Stinson and Independent Cabaret Productions.  There will be two more performances at Fort Mason, on June 27 and June 28, and one more in Mill Valley at the Sweetwater Music Hall on June 30.

When I heard the story line of "Sylvia" in a radio review, I knew it was a "must-see:" an empty-nester couple adopt a poodle-mix dog named Sylvia. This opens up a tale of midlife crisis, love, marriage, and jealousy.  Oh, and Sylvia's persona is that of an attractive young woman. As parents of a poodle, and with an otherwise empty nest, how could we resist?

"Sylvia" is wonderful, insightful, and often funny. Both Jim and I recommend it. Even before the show started, everyone in the audience with whom we talked, immediately pulled out photos of their dog to show amusing start to a satisfying evening of theatre.

It's been awhile since we last dined at Green's but we've loved this restaurant since it first opened in 1979.  Greens was, and still is, a pioneer in establishing vegetarian cuisine in the United States.  Green's elevated vegetarian cuisine from the heavy, grainy, bland dishes offered in small "niche" cafés in remote neighborhoods to the level of the best of fine dining in the United States. The restaurant is open every day except Monday for lunch (or weekend brunch) and dinner.  The menu is à la carte except on Saturday nights, when they serve a Prix Fixe 4-Course Dinner, priced at $56 per person.

The dining room looks out on San Francisco Bay, with a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge and, if you dine at the right time, a San Francisco sunset.

Our dinner started with a Cucumber salad served with wedges of cheese, olives, and herbs from Green Gulch Farm, the San Francisco Zen Center's farm in Marin County, which provides the restaurant with much of its organic produce.

From the selection of five Appetizers,

Jim chose the Ricotta Corn Cakes served with a herb salad, Romesco sauce and Crème Fraîche.

My appetizer choice was the Warm Artichoke, Spring Pea, and Fresh Garbanzo Bean Salad.

Between us, we tasted two of the three main courses.

For Jim, it was the Sweet Pea Ravioli with Morel Mushrooms, Spring Peas, Savoy Spinach, Spring Onions, Herb Butter, and Grana Padano cheese.

My Eggplant and Summer Squash Gratin was topped with a Fromage Blanc Custard. A Tomato and Roasted Garlic Sauce, Grilled Polenta, and Broccoli di Ciccio were among the garnishes for my dish.

Our dessert choices were

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Sea Salt Caramel Gelato for Jim

and Sorbets with Mexican Wedding Cookies for me (sorbet flavors were Strawberry, Raspberry, and Chocolate).

This wonderful meal, while a bit more than I could comfortably eat, was delicious, creative, and beautiful to look at, from start to finish. It was the perfect start to a lovely night out.

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