Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter in The City

Easter brunch, at the venerable - and much re-built -  Cliff House.

It sits perched above the City's popular Ocean Beach where even on this day surfers, looking like black seals in the choppy surf, waited belly-side down on their boards for the perfect wave.

Seabirds hovered, landed, then took to the skies again from their perches on Seal Rock just outside the window.

While champagne flowed freely into our glasses amid the gentle strains of a harp, a tray of fresh popovers passed by our table.

We quickly claimed then, delaying our trip to the buffet table and allowing us to settle into the warm rays of the sun through the window.  Slathering on butter and strawberry jam,  the Cliff House's famous popovers melted in a sweet obsession.

The butterscoth pots de creme-in-eggshell are a newer sweet obsession.  A deep creamy butterscotch, richer than a pudding, is topped with a dollop of whipped cream and crystallized ginger



Could you resist?

Peter, the Cliff House's Cuban-born pastry chef, handcrafted each one of the 300 pots de creme, using a  special tool to cut the shell which is then drained of the egg, washed, baked and filled with dessert.  (The eggs are sent upstairs for use in omelets.)

After lunch, a stop downstairs at the lookout to watch a pod of whales spout and play in the surf, just yards away from the surfers.   The Pacific's cold water is always a delight for some.

Then a leisurely drive through an unusually uncrowded Golden Gate Park where roses were not yet ready to make their first bloom bonanza but the rhododendrons were.

There were Easter Sunday picnickers waiting for the sunset....

And  brilliant yellow irises along the banks of a lakeside pagoda

California may be in drought but this waterfall,  that flows under a stepping-stone pathway, is a pleasant reminder of wetter winters.

A tourist reads a plaque denoting that this set of marble columns was once the portal of the residence of the A.N. Towne before it burned in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.  A. N. Towne was the general superintendent of the Central Pacific Railroad and a California senator.

A newer resident seems to have taken up house in the Towne Portal.

Just in time to see the "calla lily" lights in front of the De Young Museum lend boomerangs of light into the dimming sky.