What to expect at Brien's place
I had a great time at Brien O'Brien's pop-up in San Francisco. The food was innovative and unique and the wine pairings were perfect. He was entertaining and you can definitely tell the amount of care he puts into his dishes. The venue was at a beautiful Victorian home that made the whole experience feel elevated and still intimate. I recommend booking a seat with Brien!
meat was tough, dessert was flavorless and soggy. some people weren't served until after others had finished the course. silverware was removed and not replaced for the next corse. would not repeat or recommend. the company was good.
if some bread & butter was also served, then the portion size of the 4 course meal would be satisfactory, otherwise the meal was not very filling. The best dish was the avocado soup. Re: the de-constructed cannolis: the pastry portion of the dessert was dry & hard to pierce with the fork, the flavors of the pastry cream was underwhelming. The sweetness of wine pairing for the dessert made it easier to eat. The flight of 4 wine pairings did compliment each dish. The host indicated that number of attendees were more than expected and it was reflected in the slow service, the main dish was not served until 8 PM & explains the "constrained" size of portion servings. The host should have limited event ticket sales to a quantity he could easily managed and have enough prepared food to serve. 2 of my 3 guests' tri-tip was still very tough to cut & eat, indicating that the it may not had enough prep time to make it more tender. I participated in this event, thinking it would be a novel experience for my mom's 80th Birthday. However, she was underwhelmed by the whole experience, thus affecting my own personal enjoyment. I did enjoy the atmosphere & meeting the other guests. However the hard surfaces, the large number of people in a small space increased the noise level significantly--made it difficult to have conversation without having to almost shout.