Review: Restaurant Review: The Greens

Even before we moved to California, Catherine and I had heard of The Greens, the vegetarian restaurant down in the Fort Mason area. At home we generally cook with little or no meat, although we do use dairy, so we expected the style of food to be what we like. Last night we finally got there.

The view is wonderful. All of the seats have views of the bridge over the Marina district. Parking is plentiful, and nearby to several galleries and theatres. And it's close to the bridge, so it's easy to get to from Marin, unlike so much in the city. It's not a terribly loud restaurant, although the table density is pretty high.

Wine prices were reasonable, and the Navarro Chardonnay we had was quite good.

The menu was pris fixe, $40/person (plus wine and desert drinks and coffee), about 5 appetizers, a soup, 3 entrees, and 7 desserts.

Catherine started an asparagus dish, I had an antipasto with lightly marinated vegetables that were wonderful, the only down side was that the goat cheese wrapped in grilled Radiccio was quite gamey, enough that it interfered with the rest of the flavors.

The next course, potato soup with spring vegetables, was very nice, but by the time we got to the entrees the flavours had gotten heavier and less distinguished. My vegetable pie had no dominant flavours, the crepe in Catherine's crepe wrapped greens was over-cooked and tough.

Deserts were headed in the right direction but the flavors didn't really stand out.

Except for one course delivered backwards, service was impeccable and friendly. Members of the wait staff serve time in the kitchen, and apparently tips are pooled, so you never have to find "your" waiter.

Had the meal stood up to the standards set by the appetizers, I'd be raving. As it was, unless there's a compelling reason to choose the semi-vegetarian meal (they serve dairy, although it would be possible to choose courses which avoided cheeses and creams), if I'm going to spend a lot ($70/person [gulp] after wine, coffee, tax and tip) on dinner I far prefer Creekside or Insalata's in San Anselmo, or Campagna in Ross (all of which have ended up being less expensive).

Sunday, March 22nd, 1998