Finer Dining

The transporting way of La Folie's fine dining

It's been four years since we last dined at La Folie, and we still remember the bone-marrow-crusted filet. In fact, it's still the greatest fine-dining beef dish we've ever had.

So on a recent visit to Roland Passot's 22-year-old Russian Hill restaurant, we had our expectations hovering near the carnivorous stratosphere.

Meat mission accomplished.

To our minds, the ideal setting for a meal at La Folie is the restaurant's new lounge. The couches are low, the ambience relaxed and the menu options varied.

So we began with impeccable cocktails like the rum-based Old Cuban, and a stunning platter of house-made charcuterie ($18) that included pâté de campagne embedded with a round of foie gras. Then we created a superb meal ($75 for 3 courses; $85 for 4; $95 for 5) from the dining room's tasting menu.

Course One: cauliflower panna cotta with curried Dungeness crab. Course Two: silky walu, cooked en sous vide, with artichokes barigoule and fennel purée. Course Three: Passot's famous squab-stuffed quail, wrapped in crisp potato shreds and served with a jumble of spring vegetables. Course Four: baked Alaska with basil-spiked peaches.

And the steak? Every dish was so outstanding, we had absolutely no beef with not having any.

La Folie, 2316 Polk St. (at Green St.); 415-776-5577 or