A few weeks ago, my husband and I took one of our friends to Greens Restaurant – a modern, upscale, vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco that’s right on the Marina. This restaurant is one of our favorites – not just because it’s an all vegetarian restaurant, but because the dishes are inventive, warming and have amazing combinations of ingredients and flavors.
It also has a special meaning for my husband and me because it was the first “nice” restaurant we went to when we had just started dating (7 years ago!) – I took him there for his birthday. We’ve been back numerous times since, and since our friend was visiting from out of town and is also vegetarian, we thought it would be a fun “welcome to SF” dinner.
We ordered a ton of food and each dish was unique and added a spectacular twist to our meal. We started off with some roasted, salted almonds that we munched on while trying to figure out what to order.
Our first appetizer was the Mezcla: A mix of Rancho Gordo beans with citrus and chilies; a quesadilla with poblano chilies, grilled onions, cheddar and sage; a jicama radish salad; guacamole; plantain chips; and mango salsa
We also ordered the Yukon Gold Potato Griddle Cakes with manchego, leeks and Italian parsley. It was served with romesco, crème fraiche and an herb salad
I personally liked the Mezcla better – probably because there were more items and each had a spicy kick, but the potato cakes were creamy and delicious as well and the romesco was absolutely perfect.
For our entrees, we had the Tagine made with spring vegetables, tomatoes, chick peas, ginger, saffron and cilantro. It was served with Hamada Farm fruit and pistachio quinoa, grilled artichoke with lemon oil and mint.
I loved the addition of quinoa to this dish. The grilled artichoke complemented the rest of the vegetables beautifully.
Next up was the Butternut Squash Gratin served with poblano chiles, peppers, grilled onions, cheddar, fromage blanc custard and salsa roja. It was served with grilled Ridgecut Gristmills polenta, rainbow chard, and lacinato kale with pumpkin seeds.
This had decadence written all over it. Between the creaminess of the gratin and the luscious polenta, I’m surprised we didn’t go into full on food coma mode after eating it!
The last entree we had might have been my favorite: it was an Asparagus Pizza with spring onions, feta, fontina, pepper flakes, and meyer lemon gremolata. It sounds simple, but somehow this combination of ingredients brought a freshness and brightness to the dish that was a nice change of pace.
So after all that, I’m sure we didn’t “technically” have room for dessert. But of course, we ordered two desserts to share anyway. It was totally worth it 🙂 We had The Chocolate Banana Cake with caramel cream, white chocolate cocoa nib ice cream and toasted almonds.
Doesn’t that look amazing? And surprisingly, it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. It had the perfect amount of silky richness and sweetness, and the almonds and cocoa nibs added a great texture to the dessert.
We also ordered the Chocolate Mint Pudding Cake with white chocolate cocoa nib ice cream and truffles.
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about a “chocolate mint pudding cake” – but this was fantastic. It was basically like a warm molten lava cake that just melted in your mouth as you bit into it. Definitely the perfect way to end the meal, and the mint left a tiny bit of freshness on my palate as I took my last bite.
I was so glad my husband was driving us home, because between all that food and the wine (oh yeah we also ordered wine but I forgot to take a picture!) I was ready to pass out for a happy, satisfying nap after this amazing, decadent dinner.