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Page history last edited by Mark P 15 years, 5 months ago

Destino Review


Destino served us fairly good Peruvian and Spanish-influenced food. Nothing wowed us but the food was nearly uniformly on the good side of decent.


With dinner, we tried a variety of drinks.

  • Pisco Sours. Pisco is an alochol that is like a cross between rum and tequila. It's "an interesting alcohol." Of the two we had, the Ocucaje (Peru) was more sour than the other (Montesierpe? Alto de Carmen?) (Peru). They may have been strong drinks but we couldn't tell; one person described them as "lemonade with a little alcohol." (I disagree with the lemon assessment.) Served with foam and nutmeg on top.
  • Mojito. Good. I had to order one given Destino's famous for them during its happy hour. Not too sweet and with sizable amounts of mint.
  • A bottle of Malbec Chilean red wine from the full-bodied red category. We were going to order a gentle red but when we asked the waiter, he directed us toward this one. It was a poor choice. The wine, assertive and citrusy (in my opinion) but without the citrus acidity, didn't go with anything we ordered. We finished our glasses after the main course, corked the bottle of wine, and walked to one person's nearby house to finish it.


The warm bread rolls provided while we examined the menu were decent, standard dinner rolls. One person "really liked them." With them came not butter but a spicy mustardy spread.


To start the meal, we had:

  • Sea Bass Ceviche. People liked it. The lime and cilantro dominate. Unusually, the fish wasn't raw. Still, it had a nice texture. We ignored the hard kernels of corn.
  • Empanadas (both pork and chicken). Both decent pastry triangles filled with meat.
    • The pork was moist and spicy, making the description "Caribbean" apt. Served with a Dijon mustardy sauce. Good.
    • The chicken was decent, also with good flavor and a good crust. Although it wasn't juicy enough, the spicy mint flavor saved it.
  • Arepas de Queso (semi-crusty pancakes filled with a layer of cheese). I liked it. The salsa on top was also good. The pancakes were cornmeal; one person described them as "like polenta but better;" another described them as "like polenta but worse."


For our main courses, we ordered:

  • Aji de Gallina (shredded chicken in a slightly creamy sauce). Decent to good. Served with yucca fries that I liked, smelling strongly of the deep fried odor we mostly attribute to onion rings. One person didn't like this dish.
  • Lomo Saltado (the usual: steak stir fried with tomatoes, onions, french fries, and served with rice). Decent to good, with really good fries and nicely fluffy long grained rice.
  • Salmon with green beans. The salmon, still moist and with crispy skin, was respectable. The green beans were decent; people like them with the onions. Came with a corn mash that none of us enjoyed.


We were stuffed from dinner and declined to order dessert. I thought this might mean we'd miss the dulce de leche sandwich cookies (alfajores) for which Destino is famous. Happily, they brought us a small bowl of miniature versions of the cookies with the check. They were good, buttery creamy cookies, and softer than they appeared.


The restaurant had personality. The small, long, narrow dining room had "mostly coordinated" pieces of art (sparse, sketching nature with a few lines reminiscent of Asian calligraphy) on one wall and ornate mirrors mounted at odd angles on the other. We hypothesized they might be pointed downward to allow diners glimpses of other people and their plates.


The service was commendable. They did a great job of unobtrusively refilling water glasses, removing plates promptly, and wiping up spills (yeah, that's my fault), all without interrupting our conversation.


Total was $53 per person including taxes, tips, and all the alcohol. I'd guess it would be $32 per person without alcohol.


Original Announcement


Hope everyone had good holidays!


January is SF Dine About Town again ( http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/ ), so let's restart this club and try to hit some of these restaurants while they may be slightly cheaper than usual. If we have a quorum for Wednesday at 8:00pm, let's go to Destino, a pan-Spanish restaurant in the Mission district.



Please tell me if you can make it!


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