San Francisco | Girls' Tapas and Cocktails Night Out at Destino

Sunday, January 13, 2019

I consider it a major accomplishment that my girls and I were able to get together before Christmas without much finagling  out of our getting  complicated by the minute lives.  Whenever we plan to get together, a barage of possible dates via texts ensues. We decided on the date on the first try as we were planning this dinner. That is pretty unusual.

My girls and I have been meeting up for our yearly holiday dinner since 10 years ago when life was less complicated. We were mostly single, focused on our careers, still trying to figure where life will take us. Fast forward to this evening on December 20, our status has changed to either "wife, in a relationship, mom, blissfully child-free, etc" and will continue to change as life also brings us beautiful and equally unexpected surprises.

Last fall, I was not able to go with the girls on our yearly wine tasting trip to Napa Valley  as I was in a business trip in Chicago. The girls were disappointed. I have never missed a trip before in our years of friendship maybe just except once. Because of this, they made me in charge of finding the venue for our holiday party.

Destino was  an instant hit when they saw the fun Happy Hour and dinner menu on the website, a hit when we walked in seeing the festive space, and the drinks and food were -- a hit. LOLs! Needless to say, I redeemed myself for missing the girls' wine tasting trip in the Wine Country.

Destino is a Latin Bistro/Pisco Bar in San Francisco. The restaurant reminded me of a Latin altar with the walls painted in red and decorated with gilded mirrors. There was a giant chandelier that added to the mystic feel of the place. The bar is in a separate room which made the dining area comfortable and perfect for holding a girls' holiday dinner. We got to eat tapas, imbibe, gossip and exchange presents. The only downside with dining at a place with moody ambiance is it was too dark for decent photography.  

To start off, we tried a couple of cocktails between the three of us. (J opted not to imbibe that evening.) The favorite was:

Midnight On Market $12
Bulleit Bourbon muddled with blackberries & mint- then shaken with Cannella Cinnamon Cordial. Finished with orange bitters & a hint of lemon.

Then we decided to order a bottle of bubbly to drink with our dinner. We mostly ordered from the tapas menu. We  had the following:

Quinoa Aranchini Balls $12
organic peruvian quinoa / mozzarella / romesco salsa / marcona almonds

Yuca Fries with Mint Mojo $6

Calamar Relleno $14
stuffed local calamar / housemade chorizo / rocoto crema / roasted almond picada dried jamon serrano

Ensalada de Destino $12
baby arugula / roasted beets / marcona almonds / goat cheese / garlic chips / grilled tomato-tarragon vinaigrette

Lomo Saltado $25
angus sirloin stir fry / roma tomatoes / soy-balsamic reduction / french fries

Extra order of fries 

We enjoyed everything we ordered. Our favorite was the quinoa arancini balls. We had 2 orders of those! J, the carnivore among us had the Lomo Saltado.  

Then the dessert came! We chose the Dessert Sampler $22. It was hard to decide but we went for:

 Crema de Guanabana $8
guanabana pot de creme / vanilla crema / andean corn nut praline

 Triple chocolate chile buñuelos $8
spiced chocolate fritters / cinnamon sugar / jalea de aji amarillo / chocolate reduction

Alfajores $8
our own dulce de leche butter cookies (6 per order)

The desserts were heavenly! I am still dreaming of going back for another round of  dreamy platter of dessert, arancini balls and bottle of bubbly shared with my girls.

We exchanged pretty presents, gave each other a hug and talked about our plans to see each other next summer for another trip to Napa Valley or somewhere farther. 

12 . 20 . 2018

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