Posts Tagged ‘italian food’

The Story of Salumeria and the Mighty Sandwich

Salumeria San Francisco Sandwich

It’s November. That time of the year when the leaves have faded from golden orange to yellows and browns, when roasted squash begins popping up on menus across the city, and when you can finally feel that late autumn chill in the San Francisco wind. That special time of the year that makes me want to talk about…sandwiches.

I don’t know about you, but in my world, it’s always sandwich season. Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer and fewer occasions where I’m truly blown away by such a ubiquitous food. I’ve had to ask myself, “Have I tried every deli sandwich that appeals to my sensibilities? Every Panini? Bahn Mi? Every Cubano?” I mean, I’ve been eating sandwiches on the regular for my entire life…what’s really left to impress?…Continue Reading

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The Church Cocktail at Locanda – Drink Up

Anyone who has met me, or who has read my writing, knows that this girl loves a great cocktail. However, it’s rare that I’m so moved by some particular drink that I’m compelled to dedicate an entire article to singing its praises. This is one of those occasions…Continue Reading

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Returning to a Long-Time Favorite: SPQR

Uova SPQR

Rating: ★★★★★

There are few places I can call home. After over seven years of living on my own, even my childhood home doesn’t quite feel like home anymore. This may sound crazy or exaggerated, but somehow, every time I walk into SPQR, it feels like I’m home. And I don’t just have a special place in my heart for the restaurant itself; for me, the feeling that the city of San Francisco is my home is intimately connected to my ties to particular restaurants, SPQR being one of the most important. After two years of interacting with the staff, being awed by Chef Matthew Accarrino, and just basically being a “regular” (well, at least for me), I can say that SPQR isn’t just an excellent restaurant, nor is it just one of my favorite restaurants in the City. It’s home.

But enough of my sappy, emotional sermon. Why don’t I just explain the reasons why this restaurant is so special? Sure, I could describe the dimly-lit, neighborhood atmosphere, or the professional-yet-incredibly-friendly service. I could certainly discuss the expertly chosen wine list, created by co-owner Shelley Lindgren, whose wine program at sister restaurant, A16, has been nominated more than once by the Beard Foundation. Of course all of these factors add to the overall experience. But, at the end of the day, what keeps me coming back for more is the foodContinue Reading

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I Challenged Cotogna. Cotogna Won.

Rating: ★★★★★

Cotogna. San Francisco’s new hot spot. Situated on a beautiful block in the financial district, right next door to a little place called Quince. Rustic Italian cuisine brought to you by one of this city’s most celebrated chefs, Michael Tusk.

Clearly, Cotogna has a lot going for it – and many people have noticed. This establishment has attracted a huge amount of attention from both important figures in the San Francisco restaurant industry, as well as local dining enthusiasts. In fact, on my first visit there was such a cloud of hype surrounding this restaurant that it was hard to even see the front door. Having dined at Quince several times, I had always left with the feeling that, while delicious, it never quite lived up to its widespread publicity. So, in all honesty I walked into Cotogna with a bit of an attitude, entering with my chin held high as if to say, “Okay hot shot. Impress me.”Continue Reading

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Marea’s Press May be the Best, But in the Kitchen it Misses the Mark

Rating: ★★½☆☆

First of all, let me say that my last trip to New York City happened at the end of May 2010, so this post is sadly a bit outdated. But, it has been sitting as a draft in my files for the last 8 months, which means this article was written when the meal was still fresh in my mind. Although some tweaks may have been made to the menu, 3 of the 4 items that I ordered last May are actually still on the menu, and since I haven’t revisited the restaurant, my initial opinion has stuck with me. So, rather than let a completed article (and a couple of nice photos) go to waste, I’m sharing it now.

For many people, an ideal vacation may only need to consist of a hot sun, a relaxing beach, and a limitless number of naps. Others like to spend those precious few days exploring distant, unfamiliar countries. But if you’re like me, nothing says “vacation” quite like cramped subways, hectic daily schedules, little sleep, and constantly eating incredible food. Hello New York!

Prior to arriving in New York City, my fourth visit in 4 years, I had done a significant amount of research on what new restaurants were catching headlines and had already made reservations at all of my top picks. Although Marea wasn’t one of them, after only one day in Manhattan I realized that I’d had made a big mistake – everyone, and I mean everyone, was talking about Marea. With only two days notice and one incredibly lucky phone call, I found myself with a lunch reservation at New York’s hottest restaurant…Continue Reading

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KelsEats’ Top 10 Dishes of 2010 – #5

5) Roasted Carrot Salad, SPQR

If you’ve been following my writing, you probably know that throughout the course of 2010 I’ve been completely in awe of SPQR and Chef Matthew Accarrino. Choosing my favorite of the entire year was almost impossible as it would be easy for me to fill ½ of this top 10 list with items from this restaurant. But, I think that it’s the balance and ingenuity found in Chef Accarrino’s Roasted Carrot Salad, which made the cover of the latest issue of Culinary Trends, that best represents this restaurant and this chef. While the idea of a roasted carrot may seem painfully simplistic to most, Chef Accarrino uses numerous techniques to bring out the different facets and flavors of the carrot, changing it from something mundane into a show-stopping appetizer. It made me realize just how luscious and truly delectable a simple carrot can be, and even inspired me to roast some carrots of my own. It also inspired me to order the same dish on 3 more occasions. You can read a more in-depth description of this dish here.

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Dish of the Month – October

The Dish:
Slow Roasted Carrot Salad, Lentils, Medjool Date, Lardo & Foraged Leaves & Flowers

The Time and Place:
October 22nd, 2010, Dinner at SPQR

The Description:
I have two, dominant childhood memories of carrots. The first is of seeing my dad snack on, what I thought to be, tasteless baby carrots almost every day, and never understanding how someone could stomach them without first applying an ample coating of blue cheese dressing. The second is of eating all of the cold, dry, sliced carrots out of my salad before touching anything else so that they couldn’t ruin the rest of it – a sort of “save the best for last” strategy. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why my associated feelings towards carrots have not all been strictly positive…Continue Reading

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Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe – a Haughty, Long-Winded Way to Say “We Serve Awesome Focaccia Sandwiches”

Rating: ★★★★★

For weeks after dining at Mario’s, a North Beach stand-by that sits on the park, I was agonizing over my decision to award it 4 or 5 stars. After much pacing, and a fair amount of blood and tears, it finally hit me: their specialty hot focaccia sandwich(es) have become the end-all be-all sandwich to which I compare all other sandwiches. In the last couple of weeks, every time I eat a sandwich (which seems to be fairly frequently at the moment), I catch myself saying, “It’s good, but it’s not as good as Mario’s.” Apparently, Mario’s has set the upper limit of my sandwich scale, and if that’s not reason enough to give this place 5 stars, I don’t know what is…

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SPQR: A San Francisco Restaurant That’s Always in Season

Rating: ★★★★★

In my last article, written not too long ago, I asked enduring question, “SPQR u seriously this good?” and six months later I’m happy to report, SPQR is seriously this good. I know it has been a short time since I last reviewed this restaurant, but because I believe that it is truly a shining example of culinary innovation and refined, modern cuisine in the Bay Area, it’s hard to avoid talking about it. What has led me to place this restaurant amongst this country’s finest? Chef Accarrino’s unique approach to cooking, the philosophy behind the food he serves, is the primary reason for my complete and utter infatuation with SPQR…Continue Reading

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Celebrating July 4th in True American Fashion…with Italian Food?

While patriotic Americans across the country honored the United States’ big 2-3-4 (or, really, the day off of work) by firing up the BBQ and chowing down on hot dogs, hamburgers, and of course, beer, my family broke from tradition and instead opted for a 3-day Italian feast. Makes sense, right?…

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