Lord Stanley, serving Modern European cuisine, is one of the many restaurants that opened in 2015 in San Francisco. The restaurant also was just awarded with a Michelin star for 2016!
Lord Stanley is an intimate restaurant in Russian Hill and is the perfect spot for a casual yet refined date night. The menu is quite small with only a few choices in each category: snacks, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. They also offer a six course tasting menu with different items not on their à la carte menu. Even though the tasting menu sounded divine, we opted for dishes off the à la carte menu.
We started off with bite sized snacks. The buckwheat blinis were fluffy and light with a creamy curry flavored crème fraîche topped with bright and salty trout roe. The onion petals were soft with a slight crunchiness stuffed with a sweet smooth soubise (an onion based sauce). The salt cod beignets were also pillowy and warm with a great crunchy exterior served with tart tartar sauce. Our last snack, the chicken wings, were crunchy on the outside and moist and juicy in the inside served with a sticky sweet and sour sauce. The homemade sourdough bread is how any great bread should be; great crunchy rich crust with an airy soft interior.
The two appetizers we shared were both stellar. The cured smoked trout was one of my favorite dishes of the night. Barely smoked trout with an incredible luscious texture served with young potato and pieces of rye bread. So simple but executed beautifully. The foie gras confit was rich and creamy served with quince and walnut butter which was perfect with the brioche.
Both our main courses were also really tasty. The duck breast was perfectly cooked, crispy skin with medium rare tender meat, served with juicy sweet satsuma mandarins and bitter grilled endive and other chicories. The barbecued pork shoulder was also cooked well with a nice char on the outside served with various turnips, a sprinkle of licorice, and a burnt apple sauce. The side dish of pomme purée was comforting and rich; velvety potatoes topped with toasted hazelnuts and earthy chanterelle mushrooms swimming in a scrumptious jus.
Our desserts were all pretty tasty and quite inventive. My favorite was the yuzu and lemon tart. Perfectly balanced sweet and tart filling with a flaky tart crust with bruléed meringue. The chocolate chiboust, basically a creamy pudding, was simple and tasty served with sourdough ice cream. However, the sourdough flavor didn’t come through as much as I would have liked. The last dessert, the ice cream float, was the least successful. I liked the bread ice cream but the stout beer was too overpowering when eaten together. We finished off the meal with complimentary chocolate caramels which were great.
Our meal at Lord Stanley was simple yet refined with clean flavors. Everything we ate was delicious and well executed. I really enjoyed everything about the restaurant from the food and ambience at Lord Stanley so my overall rating is an 8.5/10.