After lengthy travels, distant ingredients often arrive plateside wishing neck pillows weren't so embarrassing and missing the majority of their nutrient luggage. Free fare from burdensome commutes with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of locally sourced, organic fine dining at Medallion Steakhouse au Naturel in Burlingame.
Medallion Steakhouse's menus are stocked from cover to cover with steaks cut from grass-fed and corn-fed cows and an assortment of organic, local produce from nearby and neighborly farms. The 8-ounce filet mignon arrives well mannered and either grass-fed ($37) or corn-fed ($32), accompanied by blue lake green beans and whipped potatoes topped with butter made on site. The oyster bar invites shells from Bodega Bay, Washington, and British Columbia (half dozen, $12–$15) to mingle with suitable mouth mates. Organic mixed greens sweeten a salad with candied walnuts before their leafiness is interweaved with a savory, nutty Banyuls vinaigrette ($6). Meals without meats include the house-made gnocchi ($15) and the margherita pizza ($10). Like the population of still-alive snowmen, desserts vary seasonally, and winter features a decadent chocolate mousse made with a trifecta of dark, milk, and white chocolate ($6).
Steakhouse style meets Medallion's au naturel flair with the plush comfort of oversized booths in a dining room decorated with fresh grass and birch-tree-trunk accents. On the patio, the sound of the lush waterfall surrounds diners, and doubles as a video screen at night, thankfully never used for showing home videos to first dates. Pair an indoor or outdoor affair with a glass of wine ($7–$14) or a sparkling, pear martini with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain liqueur, and pineapple juice, topped with sparkling wine ($9).
The epicurean alchemists at Medallion Steakhouse start with organic produce, and grass- and corn-fed beef and chicken raised on local farms and transform them into fine, innovative dishes. Specialists tend the raw oyster bar, where guests sidle up to string necklaces of pearls from varieties such as Fanny Bay, Marin Miyagi, and Kumamoto oysters. With their appetites roused, diners then settle down into oversize booths padded with plush pillows to dig into farm-fresh entrees. Smells of sizzling 14-ounce grass-fed steaks and roasted chicken breasts from Petaluma Farms swirl through the air between the restaurant’s exposed-brick wall hung with red-and-white-framed mirrors. A wall of white birch tree trunks and soft sounds of a waterfall's trickle keep diners comforted as they linger for a forkful of hazelnut dark-chocolate mousse and sips of spirits such as a 20-year-old tawny port and Godiva white-chocolate liqueur.