After taking a short hiatus for Thanksgiving I am back in action with our Been There, Ate That column and boy have I been busy this week!

Bite of the Week: Slow poached egg yolk with sweet and savory spices, warm potato Riesling and alto adige from Commis.

Monday: North Beach Restaurant
Date Night.  A San Francisco classic, North Beach Restaurant is the epitome of Italian cuisine.  Many people may shy away as it's not one of the hottest or newest restaurants in San Francisco but it is one of my favorites for traditional Italian food, especially their pasta.  The handmade cannelloni is my favorites although you can't go wrong when ordering anything of the pasta menu.  Their burrata is also a not to miss item!

Wednesday: Stones Throw
Ladies Night Out. Listed on this month's Eater SF Heatmap, Stones Throw is Russian Hill's newest addition.  Taking over the old luella space, Stones Throw offers a quaint meal perfect for any occasion.  The menu may be small at first glance but once you dig in you'll find there's an something for everyone!

Here's what we checked out:
Snacks - The puffed potato & eggs, the dungeness crab salad and the duck pate & mousse. Favorite: The puffed potato & eggs with cauliflower mousse, chives, and crispy chicken skin (pictured right)

Starters - Squid ink conchiglie pasta, roasted root vegetable salad and the grilled octopus. Favorite: Squid ink conchiglie pasta with spicy capers, clams, calamari and tender greens

Mains - Crispy 38 north duck breast & thigh and the Chestnut raviolo. Favorite: Crispy 38 north duck breast & thigh with black rice, asian pear, celery and peking spiced jus

Dessert - Peanut butter & jelly donuts (pictured left)

Saturday: Flour + Water 
Solo Dinner. You already know I have an unhealthy obsession with Flour + Water, after all, I've told you that it's one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco.  And so, after working up a serious hunger after some heavy holiday shopping this past Saturday I decided to pop into Flour + Water for some pasta - make sure you're sitting down for this next part - I didn't even have a reservation (gasp!).  Since it was only me and it was still on the early side I figured I had a chance to snag a seat at the bar and as luck would have it I did!

As it was only me I unfortunately couldn't splurge and order three or four pastas and a pizza like I normally would, I did however get to try a pasta I've never had before!  After starting with the chicories with crispy egg, squash and chantrelles salad I had to try the beet tagliarini with dungeness crab and cauliflower.  As you probably know it's crab season and I had yet to have any crab! Although my pasta was phenomenal as usual, I have to admit I was pretty jealous of the couple next to me who were splitting the tajarin with cultured butter, egg yolk and white truffle...mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Sunday: Commis
East Bay Adventure. Another one of my favorite Bay Area restaurants is commis.  They offer an eight course menu which changes nightly.  One thing that drives me crazy, but that I love at the same time, is that unlike most restaurants, they don't give you the menu ahead of time, therefore making each course a surprise.

Last night's menu was very seafood heavy as it's wintertime although you get no complaints here!  My favorite dish (as well as bite of the week) was the Slow poached egg yolk with sweet and savory spices, warm potato Riesling and alto adige.  I also loved the Abalone with pumpernickel, hen roasting jucies and ulva and yuzu and of course the dessert, Pears with celery root mousse, rosemary and rye (pictured to the right).

If you've never been to commis I highly recommend venturing to the other side of the bridge (unless you already live in the East Bay!) to check it out.  The $85 tasting menu is well worth it and it's a great spot for special occasions, or random Sunday night dinners.

Tip: When you make your reservation, request to sit at the chef's counter.  The kitchen is right in the middle of the restaurant and you'll get to see all of the action first hand!

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