Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Very Fine Food at Frances

Lonely Planet writer and food critic AB was right. Relative Castro neighborhood newcomer Frances is really, really good. I'd been led astray by a luke-cold review of the place, but it seems that review was (way) off the mark. I mean, what's not to love about beignets, light fluffy clouds studded with savory bacon with a perfectly crisped exterior, or giganto tender gnocchi tossed with earthy morels and spring vegetables, served with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. I've told everyone and their mother to go check it out. I'll be going back again. And big plus: the menu changes often ... to match the season and what's available locally.

in front: bacon beignets—some of the best I've ever had; behind: flash grilled calamari nestled in fresh leaves of arugula

pig trotters ... kinda like crabcakes, but with pork instead. mmmmmm.

pillowy gnocchi with morels and more

in front: creamy polenta with mushrooms and scallions; in back: oh-so-tender lamb loin with gigantes and things

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Season: Zucchini Blossoms

I scored some gorgeous zucchini blossoms after volunteering for a CUESA event today (CUESA runs the SF Ferry Building farmers market). Since these subtly fragrant flowers don't have a long shelf life, I decided to whip up a simple beer batter (beer + flour whisked together), dip the 15 or so blossoms in, and then fry them up in hot canola oil. Out they came onto a paper towel. I sprinkled 'em with a little parmesan and salt, and they were ready to go.

The blossoms were gone in 60 seconds ... OK, slight exaggeration, but it didn't take long for me to polish 'em off—they were so good.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BCD Tofu House

When it comes right down to it, you can't beat a piping hot stone bowl full of five-alarm spiced, seafood, silken tofu jjigae in NY's ... especially when it's at a resto imported from the number one in the US = the city of Angels (aka LA).

BCD Tofu House is a serious keeper.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dell'anima Can Do No Wrong

It'd been more than 2 years since I had the exquisite pleasure of partaking in a meal at West Village Italian eatery dell'anima. And yet from what I'd been reading, it was still going strong.

So off we went on my last proper night in the City for an unforgettable meal that started with a tasty array of five bruschette and ended on a high note comprising four kinds of perfectly al dente and fragrantly flavored pasta/risotto.

dell'anima still delivers ...

Sweetbreads with (I think) a sunchoke puree and strawberries in balsamic vinegar — Not my fave dish (a bit discordant to me), but I could appreciate the tender juicy-ness of the seared offal. DY and CY loved ...

Mouthwatering bruschette: Soft scrambled eggs with bottarga (aka caviar); rapini pesto walnuts and pecorino; cannellini with preserved tangerine and aleppo pepper; creamy avocado with Sicilian olive oil; ricotta with sea salt

Uber tender, charred octopus with rice beans, chorizo, chicory and endive

What I couldn't get enough of: the lusciously rich minty pea risotto with tons of Pecorino cheese. But heck, I was happy getting a little bit of everything. It was all so good.