Every year for our birthdays, my boyfriend and I take turns treating each other to one of the amazing restaurants in the City by the Bay. It’s always a surprise, and this year my only clue was “the chef’s famous.”It wasn’t until we pulled up to the restaurant that I knew where we were going: Fleur de Lys.Saying that Chef Hubert Keller is famous is an understatement. He is extremely famous, having starred on Top Chef Masters and Secrets of a Chef. He’s also been a guest judge in several seasons of Top Chef, runs Fleur at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, and Burger Bar in Union Square, Vegas and St. Louis and has a few Michelin stars to his name. And our server let us know he’s a DJ on the side. Eesh.
Fleur de Lys is a beautiful restaurant. It’s located in the Tenderloin so either for safety or for ambiance, there are no windows. You walk into a small lobby with bar, then into the dimly lit restaurant. The ceiling is draped with fabric in what resembles an inverted mushroom with a large chandelier in the center. The design is the product of a $4 million reconstruction after a fire ruined the original restaurant in 2001.
The menu at Fleur de Lys is pre fixe; however you can choose three, four or five courses. We opted for the four-course selection and between the two of us ordered:
- Chilled Dungeness crab salad; Salmon soufflé (appetizer)
- Alaskan halibut; Jumbo Louisiana prawns (seafood dish)
- Trio of lamb loin, shank and Merguez meat ball; Seared filet mignon with lobster truffle mac and cheese en brioche (entrée)
- Fleurburger; Chocolate soufflé (dessert)
The Alaskan halibut comes with truffled mushroom French toast which is smokey and tender; it is tiny but amazing. The salmon soufflé was awesome too because it is topped with a halibut foam, so you get two balanced fish flavors in one dish. I greatly enjoyed the lamb trio, particularly the Merguez meat ball. The filet mignon is exactly what you’d expect from a quality cut of meat. Along with the courses, diners also are treated to two tastes from the chef, which that night included a cold quinoa salad with tuna and a fennel “frappe.”
My favorite dish was the Fleurburger, a dessert platter that looks like a miniature burger order. The “hamburger” is chocolate ganache on a beignet, the fries are made of ice cream, and a tiny banana milk shake adds the final touch. Our server also brought assorted petit fours and a birthday plate with mousse and berries.
If you want to check out the award-winning Fleur de Lys, I suggest making reservations about a month ahead. They are closed on Mondays.
777 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Photo Credit: Adam Shapiro