Monday, March 29, 2010

The Stinking Rose (A garlic restaurant): Silence of the Lamb Shank

I recently found myself on a business adventure to San Francisco, so I relied on my trusty Nate's Plate tipsters for recommendations. The first one was for the Stinking Rose -- The Garlic Restaurant, and it was no bum tip.

I called on the walk over and the pre-recorded cheesy fake Italian voice. was promoting dinner reservations. When we arrived and saw all the people dining, as well as people hanging out in the lobby, I felt like a fool for not getting reservations, but my colleague Jason and I got seated right away.

The placed reeked of garlic upon entry, but I quickly adjusted and felt comfortable knowing I definitely wasn't dining in the vicinity of vampires. I was safe from getting my blood sucked on the way home too, because I caught a whiff of myself immediately upon return to my room. I was sure to use all of the 1.0-oz complimentary shower products the next morning.

But, back to dinner. The Stinking Rose offers a lot of wines, including what was being passed off as garlic wine (which I sadly didn't try), but I got the "large" Peroni. In Michigan, a pint is a large beer, but the large beer here is much larger than a pint, which could also be ordered. After receiving our large beers, Jason and I ordered and were served garlic bread. I went to the bathroom to "freshen up" and dinner -- the cleverly named Silence of the Lamb Shank -- arrived right as I returned to the table.

The dish is named so because it comes with a chianti-based glaze and fava beans ... get it? Any way, the lamb shank was just right -- moist tender and succulent, with no knife needed. The meat fell off the bone so easily that I finished the main course before I finished my beer.

After finishing my entree, I was perfectly, comfortably full and totally forgot all about the garlic ice cream dessert I had been anticipating. Blast! I need to go back for that.

Upon awakening the following morning, I was surprised that my mouth didn't taste like garlicky corpses like it normally would after such a clove-fest. How'd they manage to make garlic dishes so that the taste and odor don't stick to my tongue like white on rice? I did have a moment of panic when I got dressed and began to smell cooking odors, but it turned out to be the restaurant downstairs from the hotel and not me.

Nate's Plate definitely declares the Stinking Rose to be a San Francisco treat.

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