I've been to Sons & Daughters twice over the years, first in 2010 when they were relatively new, and again in 2011 after they'd received their first Michelin star. Both times the food was tasty and modern, with a fairly unique approach to hyper-local, ingredient-driven cuisine. I left both meals feeling generally happy with what I had experienced, but in the back of my mind there was something missing; I felt as though the restaurant wasn't reaching its full potential and that, with a few small tweaks, those meals could have been memorable instead of relatively unremarkable. That all changed last Sunday when, on my third visit to Sons & Daughters, I experienced a meal that wasn't just remarkable, it was flawless...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, dessert, downtown san francisco, fine dining, Michelin-rated restaurant, new american cuisine, vegetables
Over the years I've gone from never cooking for myself (college), to cooking all the time, to hardly ever cooking because I'm too lazy or tired. I'm about to go over the edge of laziness, where walking more than a block for food is starting to bother me. Before I'm ordering terrible Chinese food because it delivers every night, I'm putting the breaks on and making a point to cook more.
I'm also finally ready to start eating a wee bit healthier - a few solid nights of eating salads and veggies instead of Phat Philly onion rings and pizza at Serranos is the plan. But I have one problem: I'm still pretty damn lazy and am easily deterred by long, involved recipes. "Long" and "involved" meaning longer than say 10-15 minutes. So what am I to do? Arugula and avocado salad. Boom...Continue Reading
Tags: cheap food, healthy food, salad, vegetables
Survey: raise your hand if you've ever ordered French Onion Soup from a restaurant envisioning a bowl of richly flavored broth, filling the room with the smell of caramelized onion, and topped with all the Gruyere your little heart could desire. Now raise your hand if, instead of a bowl of ambrosia, you received the equivalent of a slightly more aromatic chicken stock topped with a few sad, half-melted strands of pre-grated Safeway Swiss, alongside a chunk of day-too-old baguette. If you associate French Onion Soup with chain cafés, believing that this is a quintessential example of this dish, you probably haven't been super motivated to attempt it on your own (sorry Panera Bread). Or maybe you've never thought of it because, frankly, it just doesn't sound that interesting - I mean it is just onion, bread, and cheese in a simple stock, right? Wrong...Continue Reading
Tags: classic french cuisine, easy-to-make recipes, french food, french onion soup, soup, vegetables
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.....That's me, breathing a sigh of relief. After many months of somewhat lackluster meals, meals which led me to depend on my all-time favorite restaurants to get me through the holidays, I finally stumbled into a dining experience that revived me from the dining dead. Thank you Local Mission Eatery for reminding me how exciting even a casual weekday meal can be when the menu is thoughtful, the ingredients are fresh and well-sourced, and every plate is perfectly executed. At last, I've found the motivation to write!...Continue Reading
Tags: california cuisine, sf examiner review, the mission, vegetables
Roasted Golden Beet Salad (w/ watercress, slivered almonds, avocado, goat cheese, homemade croutons)
Makes enough for 4. (*I buy all of my supplies at Bi-Rite, they have all of this. I know Whole Foods doesn't even have everything this calls for so I suggest making a little trip to the Mission if you can)...Continue Reading
Tags: beets, vegetables
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.
Tags: california cuisine, italian food, lower pac heights, matthew accarrino, Top 10 of 2010, vegetables
1) Chilled Eggplant Purée, Coi
For a couple of months it seemed like the only thing I wanted to talk about was Daniel Patterson’s Chilled Eggplant Purée (made from puréed eggplant, fresh pole and shelling beans, preserved lemon, cilantro, and tomato water gelée). I was honestly bringing it up in conversations with people who had absolutely no interest in the subject and could only respond by smiling and nodding. But I didn’t care, I wanted the world to know how incredible cold eggplant could taste. And I didn’t just talk about it, I chased it down as much as possible knowing that eggplant and tomato would soon be out of season and I’d be left with a void in my soul. Even after eating it 3 times in only 3 weeks, I was still blown away and craving more. You can read a full description of the dish here, but for me, this dish exemplified sophistication through simplicity and balance.
Tags: Coi, Daniel Patterson, financial district, fine dining, Top 10 of 2010, vegetables
The latest installment of my "Savoring the Season" series for Examiner focuses on the ingredients that scream "summer." It's not an exhaustive list, but rather focuses on the most common, and most popular, ingredients.
To read the entire article, please click here.
Tags: california cuisine, sf examiner review, vegetables
In a sense, Saison is a play of contradiction: a sophisticated restaurant tucked into what looks like the back alley of a Mission warehouse, a French country-side interior with Led Zepplin and Lynyrd Skynyrd serenading diners in the background, and seemingly simple food which, in actuality, requires an astonishing amount of patience and technique to prepare. And when I say patience, envision a chef carefully balancing tiny flower petals, one by one, onto a bite-sized piece of sashimi with tweezers. And that’s just the amuse-bouche...Continue Reading
Tags: 100 best of the bay, california cuisine, fine dining, french american cuisine, Michelin-rated restaurant, tasting menu, the mission, vegetables
It's Sunday. And raining. And unless George Clooney called me up for a date, nothing could get me out of this house, including leaving the comfort of my bed for much-needed groceries.
So, I'm left with rummaging through a relatively-empty refrigerator looking for anything that might sustain me. Spicy mustard and mayo on a warmed up tortilla? Hmmm not so appealing. Luckily, our veggie box came a couple of days ago and there were 2 beautiful beets calling my name...Continue Reading
Tags: beets, Recipes, salad, vegetables