There’s a reason Saison shines—Joshua Skenes, named by Food & Wine magazine as one of 2011’s Best New Chefs. His food is intricate but not forced, and steeped in complex flavors. Skenes is also very much hands-on: tending the fire, composing dishes, overseeing staff, and greeting guests.
Located in the Mission, Saison’s indoor/outdoor space is both sophisticated and rustic. The main dining area is intimate with sleek semi-circle banquettes facing the open kitchen. In fact, the best seats in the house are in the kitchen, at the four-stool counter with a close-up view of the toques at work.
There’s also an adjacent brick terrace, with an open hearth for whole animal (and fish) cooking, and 15 or so seats framed by fragrant bougainvillea, citrus trees, and potted herbs.
The eight-course NewAmerican/French menu (with optional wine pairings) has a strong focus on fish and vegetables. A favorite dish was the fluke, served sashimi style, topped with a crispy fin, and brilliantly paired with a 2008 Grgich Hills Sauvignon Blanc. While red meat may play a less prominent role, that doesn’t mean that what’s offered is modest by any means. Our Sonoma lamb was hearty, juicy and very, very tasty!
Skenes has bold plans for Saison so stay tuned.
Dinner only, Tues – Sat, 6 – 10 p.m.