It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Turntable at Lord Stanley, home to a monthly rotating pop-up of fine dining chefs from around the world. Each time, I’m impressed at the execution of the diverse menus by the local team, with little downtime between pop-ups.
Leading the team is Chef de Cuisine Nathan Matkowsky, who works with the guest chefs to ensure a seamless onboarding experience in San Francisco. Nathan worked with Lord Stanley chef-owner Rupert Blease early on in his career at Central Kitchen, and he was part of the Lord Stanley opening team that quickly earned a Michelin star.
It’s exciting to see Nathan take the spotlight as the featured guest chef for May 2023. His self-described contemporary French and Asian-influenced menu is ambitious in its size and range, but still retains a cohesive vision.
I sampled the entire tasting menu, as well as some à la carte dishes. The appetizers featuring seasonal, local spring produce were standout. I especially enjoyed the asparagus & artichoke soubise with crunchy chicken skin. The Manila clams & cucumber hidden under a canopy of mizuna and crispy tempura were also memorable.
The larger courses included many Asian-inspired dishes, including a grilled strip loin in the style of Korean ssam wraps with red gem lettuce, perilla leaf, and house kimchi. A hefty, deep fried pork chop came with a Japanese curry dipping sauce and white corn salad. And the red snapper sat on a bed of bright lemongrass ginger scallop sauce with rau ram (Vietnamese coriander).
The only dud for me was the lobster wrapped in halibut mousse and baked in brioche. The brioche was overbaked, and the dish felt heavy, single-noted, and out of place in an otherwise vibrant menu.
Definitely save space for the desserts – they are decadent but not to be missed! Chocolate and coffee lovers will enjoy the chocolate chiboust and coffee ice cream, topped with crunchy almond meringue. A lemon pound cake with blueberry compote and basil sherbet got me excited for summer.
It was also my first time trying îles flottantes (floating island), a dessert of pillowy meringue sitting on crème anglaise. This indulgent treat was topped with crushed pistachios and fine spun sugar. To top it off, the meal ended with one of the best cannelés I’ve had. I can’t recommend this month’s Turntable menu enough!
* Meal was hosted, opinions are my own.