Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Here's how it all broke down at tonight's Franco-feast:
Grilled salmon with fennel confit, eggplant caviar and tapenade:
Ricotta ravioli with roquefort, pine nuts and basil:
Grilled rack of lamb with ratatouille and French fries:
Grilled pork chop with apple cider mustard sauce and Brussels sprouts:
6 ... dare I say, 7 ooh-la-las (and there were only 4 of us).
Guess who had the oinker? ME. Ha. I win! But that said, we were all pretty well sated by the end of the meal ... sharing a bottle of Bordeaux certainly helped, but kudos to the kitchen for a job well done. And the icing on the cake? A specially "signed" (albeit misspelled?) berry and creme fraiche crepe. Vive la France!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Sitting at one of Suppe's communal farm tables, we happily tucked into our carb-laden dishes surrounded by the mellow chatter of a hip/Euro-esque crowd enjoying a really warm day (few and far between) in SF. I'm thinkin', it can't really get any better than this ... although next time, schnitzel is set to play the starring role.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Of course, since it was the first time my friend had ever made this dish, she was less than satisfied. She'd hoped to taste more lemon and anise, she said.
Ah well, you're always your own worst critic. The lemon zest sprinkled over the asparagus more than made up for and complimented the sea bass. And frankly, I'm glad I couldn't taste any kind of licorice: Anise is just not my thing, although having had to use it in restaurant cooking, I don't hate it as much as I used to.
All in all, what a great meal. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and you better believe I'm adding this to my repertoire ... hmmm, already planning my next dinner party.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Before I moved back to SF and was planning a weekend trip to the city by the bay after a year and a half away, a friend told me we should hit newly opened Little Star because folks were saying its deep-dish pizza kicked Zachary's ass. No way, I said. There is just no way. Zach's has always had a special place in my heart (and belly); gobbling up the heavenly chicken deep dish (made with hunks of baked chicken breast, mushrooms, and a zesty basil, garlic, tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese) on a monthly basis for 4 years will do that to you. Needless to say, I was more than prepared to expose Little Star for the poser that it was.
Half a dozen visits later, I can happily admit I was wrong. The SF pizzeria is insanely good. Last week, the Little Star (spinach with ricotta and feta, mushrooms, onions and garlic) was my preferred pie of choice, but the classic and vegetarian are equally as good. Couple that with a good bottle of red and there's no way the warm fuzzies won't knock you on your ass (in a good way, of course).
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I've been driving by this railroad car-cum-restaurant since I was a wee child and never made it in until now. I suck. But now that it's firmly on the map for me, I'll beeline it to this homey diner if and whenever I'm gettin' the grumblins for a juicy burger married beautifully with a heaping side o' homemade fries.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Well, two hours and two-plus pounds of chicken later, I finally got to ladling the red wine-infused meat, mushrooms and onions on a bed of yukon gold mashies.
Success. The robust stew (bacon and butter included, yum) was met with raves all 'round. Of course, I had no appetite by the time we sat down to dinner, but no matter: My bowl was snatched up and emptied tout suite. What are friends for, right?
Monday, March 5, 2007
I've always thought the mark of a really good Korean restaurant could be measured by the number of lovely little side dishes (aka pan chan) accompanying the meal; it certainly bodes well when you're served upwards of 12 to 15 pan chan, covering all the bases of sweet, savory, umami and more. Well, the ones pictured here were super dee-lish, all of them made with love by the proprietress and her crew at Chuhgajib in Glendale, Arizona.
Of the kimchi, oi kimchi, manul jjong, kong namul and more, ggakdugi's hands down my fave. These spicy pickled nuggets of daikon radish add a tongue-tingling kick and crunch to any meal, whether it's Korean bbq or a bowl of spaghetti. Spaghetti, you say? Sure, why not? I grew up in a household where kimchi went with everything, whether it was mac and cheese, meatloaf or bulgogi on the table. We even stuck kimchi in our sandwiches (ok, not all the time). It's really not so different from the folks who hit all their food with a generous dousing of hot sauce (did I mention my dad does that too?) Spicy, gooooood.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
So, I stayed away from offal of all kinds for years. It wasn't until a couple of decades later that my appreciation for the stuff began to grow. It finally took hold during my short stint at a 3-star restaurant when seared foie gras and foie gras torchon became part of my cooking repetoire (loved the seared stuff, though I can't say that I was a fan of the torchon).
That said, CAV wine bar's foie gras torchon is exceptional. Creamy, buttery, with a lovely rosey hue, the fatty liver is perfectly complemented with a dice of honey-infused quince. I went again last night with a couple friends to get some more of the mouth-watering dish, and it was just as amazing as I'd remembered. We also opted for the cheese sampler that came out fully loaded with all manner of nuts, fruit and honey. And of course, a spicy malbec and velvety tempranillo were the perfect accompaniments to my meal.