Santorini Mediterranean Cuisine at Union Square
You eat food in the airport you KNOW you shouldn’t have – because you’re captive. You pay, pay, pay for it afterward.
Suddenly, you leave the airport, the tide turns and life is wonderful again. It doesn’t take much. A friendly, informative cabbie. A great meal served up by a friendly waitress who seems to care.
Sustenance is joyful when it tastes like the experience my sister Cherie and I enjoyed here in San Francisco our first evening at dinner.
We walked from our hotel to Union Square. She hadn’t been to SanFran in decades, so she started snapping pictures. We stopped in Williams Sonoma, then Neiman Marcus.
Yes, we have NM in Las Vegas, but here in the City by the Bay they have a stunning stained glass window at the top of a rotunda I wanted her to see. It’s truly magnificent as you can see above.
Oh, and we had to see the Loubotin shoes. Only $995 for one pair of staggering pumps with trademark fire-engine red soles. I knew they were expensive, but wow, that’s about a mortgage payment for Ernie and I.
Then Cherie exclaimed, “Geez, it’s after seven o’clock. We need to figure out what to do about dinner.”
I figured we’d find someplace on the walk back to our hotel. We did: Santorini Mediterranean Cuisine. The menu is mostly Greek with some Middle Eastern specialties in-between.
We walked past a two-piece combo playing soft, easy jazz. The tables were set with creamy white linens and the wood chairs looked like they were shipped in from an Athens bistro.
Now, I gotta digress: A few months before meeting my husband Ernie, I took the trip of a lifetime and visited some of the Greek isles, including Santorini. The place is heart-achingly gorgeous. You never want to leave. So anything with the name “Santorini” is starting right out of the gate with an emotional advantage for me.
Our server Lara was friendly and helpful. First we were brought a saucer with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped walnuts and a little mint. On another plate was freshly baked pita bread. Cherie said the bread was soft and tender, perfect for sopping up the olive oil blend.
Since we’re both trying to stay away from white carbs (we’re not perfect at this by any means) we asked Lara if there was anything she could bring us from the kitchen to enjoy the olive oil combination without bread. Out she came with a plate of peeled cucumber chunks and slices of tomato. Perfect!
We both ordered an entrée salad ($17) that featured mixed field greens, toasted walnuts, crumbled Feta cheese, roasted beets, carrots and a pomegranate vinaigrette. You have a choice of topping the salad with grilled chicken, salmon or prawns. I thought I’d order the salmon.
Then I noticed a plate of Gyros meat float by. Gyros is that spicy, savory, uniquely-Greek combination of ground lamb and beef sliced off a vertically spinning spit and usually enjoyed in a Gyros sandwich. We asked Lara if we could have our salad topped with Gyros meat instead. She was happy to oblige.
So many amazing flavors in one pairing: the tart-sweet of the dressing, the hominess of beets, the crunch of walnuts, the sharp, creamy tang of Feta and the bite of red onions. Top with Gyros meat, and, for my sister and I, it was the tastiest, comforting, yet moderately healthy meal (in a low-carb kind of way) I could imagine for a first dinner on an excellent adventure.
After our meal, Cherie got a scoop of Pomegranate Sorbet while I ordered mint tea. Being a good sister, she let me take a bite. It tasted like cold, crushed berries with a touch of ginger. Fresh and authentic.
We left Santorini’s and walked back to the Hilton a few blocks away. The elevator whisked us back up to our room. Once there we couldn’t stop remarking about what a good choice we made – just by stumbling into a little bistro kind of spot along the way. In fact, we liked it so much we went back on Sunday evening for dinner and had a second terrific experience with a different server. Love it when that happens.
Santorini Mediterranean Cuisine is located at:
242 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone number: 415-402-0060
Website: click here
Watch for my next post all about our shopping trip into Chinatown, San Francisco, CA.