Skenes said the six-course menu won't always be the same over the three nights of a weekend. "Sometimes it will, but what we're gonna do is base it on what is the absolute best," he said. Since launching Saison in July, Skenes said he's been able to get pickier about sourcing, including buying greens and herbs from an urban gardener (guy named Justin) growing in a Mission District backyard. Skenes is also the proprietor of downtown lunch cart Carte415.
Also new-ish at Saison is kitchen table seating, which gets you 12 courses amid a welter of 19th-century French silverware, old cookbooks as props, and other fancy stuff. "Alice Waters sat at the kitchen table last week, maybe the week before," Skenes said. Though the presence of other power chefs never made him sweat, Alice made him a bit nervous. "With her, I think it's like, when you have a turnip -- and you know she's eaten the best turnip on Earth -- there's really no more you can do to that vegetable to make it better."
The regular, six-course dinner at Saison is $70, with an optional $40 wine pairing from Skenes' partner, sommelier Mark Bright. You can reserve a table (and prepay) at the Saison Web site. Dates this month are September 5 and 6; September 18-20; and September 25 and 26.