Best French San Francisco 2005 - La Folie
For the full-on, top-notch, starry French experience, try this newly redecorated temple of luxury (subdued tones of rust and burgundy replace marionettes and harlequins, and tables are bigger and fewer). Here you can command a three-course ($60), four-course ($75), or five-course ($85) menu pulled together from soups and salads, appetizers, fish and shellfish, poultry and meat, desserts and cheeses. Or abandon choice with the set vegetarian menu ($60) or an adventurous tasting menu (called, appropriately enough, Menu L'Aventure), at $85. You'll get plenty to eat -- of fancy food, fancily contrived, with fancy ingredients. Foie gras and truffles show up in every course, to good effect (foie gras soup with truffled day boat scallop ravioli; quail foie gras lollipops with leek and wild mushroom cannelloni; the Mediterranean fish called rouget sided by crostini with foie gras, bone marrow, and monkfish liver farce and sauced with a red wine orange beurre fondue; beef tenderloin on wilted Swiss chard with truffle Madeira sauce, braised beef short rib, and burger Rossini with foie gras), but even the simpler, humbler presentations (a mille-feuille of beets and goat cheese, a soup of parsley and garlic with snails and shiitake mushrooms) demonstrate chef Roland Passot's skill and understanding of ingredients.