Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Universally Delicious

Between the birthdays and the anniversary, Enjoyable Me has been doing a lot of celebrating lately, but hey I'm definitely not complaining because with celebrating comes good eating.  Last week we had the pleasure of joining my dad and D'mom for a lovely birthday dinner at Universal Cafe.  I have had the joy of dining at Universal Cafe one time prior and I was very much looking forward to this dinner.  The cafe is run by chef/owner Leslie Carr Avalos who centers her menu around seasonal, local ingredients.  This small restaurant tucked away on 19th Street between Potrero Hill and the Mission is a true gem.

Our meal started off as any good meal should, with a bottle of wine suggested by our absolutely adorable and sweet server Laura.  Laura is new to the Universal Cafe family, but we all agree she is a great fit and wonderful new addition, you can check out her blog here.

I must apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos I took that night, the ambiance is great in the cafe but the dim lighting wasn't ideal for photo taking and I really didn't want to be "that" person snapping away with the flash. 

It is basically impossible to dine at Universal and not try the frites with herbs and aioli, they are so good!!  Served nice and hot, the frites are crispy and sprinkled with a good dose of crunch herbs, dip away!
 It was hopeless to get a photo of these frites without eager hands grabbing : )

For our entrees we ordered the local halibut served with green rice and beet salad in creme fresh dressing; the halibut was flawlessly cooked and the beet salad was earthly and cooling.

The pork meatballs with house-made spinach fettuccine.  The meatballs were moist and flavorful; the pasta was just perfectly cooked.

And last but not least, the roasted Hoffman Farm's chicken served on a bed of chewy fregola and topped with a vinaigrette slaw and house smoked bacon.  This chicken is the perfect combination of juicy meat and crispy outside, I didn't even think twice about eating the skin.

Here is a little before and after shot I thought captured our overall happiness with the meal.

On Laura's recommendation we tried a bottle of C&B Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which Wren declared as the "best wine he had ever tasted!"  The food was fantastic, the ambiance was intimate and inviting, and our server was the cherry on the dining experience cake.  If you have not tried Universal Cafe, I highly recommend it, they also have a few outdoor tables so you can dine al fresco and enjoy this gorgeous San Francisco weather.

San Francisco is a great city for a food lover like myself and I have only begun to tackle the long list of wonderful restaurants the city has to offer, if you have any suggestions for Enjoyable Me to try out leave me a comment and I will gladly put it on the list.

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