Monday, July 08, 2013

Catering by Trace

Trace is the restaurant located in the W hotel in San Francisco.  I haven't visited since it turned into Trace, but I went a few times back in its previous incarnation (the XYZ), although only for brunch.  I wasn't ever blown away, but it was always solid, and easy to get a reservation, which is certainly a nice thing in the SF brunch scene.

Trace provided catering for an event I was at recently, so I got to sample a few of their items.  Unfortunately, they ran out of the dish I was most excited to try, panna cotta, right when I got there!  That is what I get for arriving fashionably late! I love panna cotta, and was very grumpy at the hoards of people who were all walking around with multiple panna cottas in their hands.  Couldn't they have saved one for me?  Boo.

Anyway, their offerings were more interesting than standard apps at an event like this, but nothing was remarkable.
Smoked salmon, cream cheese, chives.
The ratios were all off in this.  Way too much cream cheese, making it impossible to taste the salmon at all.  There was also a very thin cracker-like layer, but I also didn't taste it.  All that came through was mediocre cream cheese.  Meh.
Pickled beets, goat cheese, pistachio.
Who doesn't love salads on skewers? :)

This was actually a pretty tasty bite, even though it involved goat cheese and pistachios, which I don't tend to like.  The beet was tart and really well pickled.  I think they have a pickled beet salad at the restaurant, which I'd totally consider getting after tasting these beets!
Chicken liver mousse, pickled rhubarb.
I was overjoyed to see this.  Sure, it wasn't the panna cotta, but I do love my liver mousses.  The mousse was creamy, smooth, with a nice liver flavor.  The pickled rhubarb was a nice crunch on top, but I didn't taste it much.  It likely provided a bit of acidity to compliment the rich liver.  The tart shell was unremarkable, but you needed something to serve the mousse on, and it was better than a crostini.  The mousse is also on their regular menu, and I'd order it if I was there.  Tastiest bite of the evening.
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