Who is Lord Stanley?

Lord Stanley is a restaurant in Russian Hill. No, it is not a person. My four dining buddies, all of whom have lived in Europe, commented that there are already so many eating establishments named "Stanley." Can someone shed light to me why?

Despite the royal name, Lord Stanley has an unassuming, modern European vibe. Their menu is simply printed with black and white ink yet is thoughtfully concocted with the likes of onion petals, oyster beignets, and chicken parfait puffs.

Casual Elegance 
Lord Stanley's simplicity reverberates throughout their dishes. My favorite is the surprisingly eye-catchy twist of sweet potatoes with fresh curd and yellowfoot mushrooms. Second and third on the list are the beautifully stacked asparagus with a kick of curry and the healthy poached trout with a spark of yellow edible flower, respectively. Then comes the more sinful foie gras.

As some of my readers know, I went on a foie gras hunting spree during the two-year ban. Foie gras used to be omnipresent in my out-of-town diet, especially in Seville, Spain and Las Vegas. It's great to see foie gras back on California shores.

You'll never understand what this is if you haven't tasted it for yourself.
Healthy asparagus with sprouted grains and hous yoghurt.
Lovely poached trout. 

Good to see foie gras back in California.
My friend's short rib, confit shallots and red wine jus.
Another surprise is the cod entree came. All females who ordered the same dish in our table, including yours truly, gave the bowl we each received a quizzical look at first since we didn't expect the fish to be swimming on a soup base. It is pan fried, after all. After a spoonful, I realized that the soup balanced out the strong flavors of the seaweed and preserved lemon. Not too salty, not too fishy. 

A filling pan-fried cod with local seaweed, preserved lemon and fingerling potatoes.
We ended our experience at Lord Stanley with three different desserts although the most interesting one didn't get a photo op. The unphotogenic chocolate ganache is a blob of brown mess, but it did turned out to be the most satisfying to close down our appetite. Who doesn't love chocolate?

Strawberry tart with elderflower custard. 
Raw cow's milk cheese with rosemary granola and candied cipollini/onion.
The runaway winners here are obviously the starters so focus on those as well as the unique snacks.

Farewell for now, my Lord Stanley.

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