If someone had told me a week ago that I’d spend 4+ hours on a Saturday night researching one very specific, rather unknown oyster – a Canadian oyster at that! – I would’ve been amused by the thought, but also slightly concerned that I’m not reaching out to friends enough. But what can I say, last night I was consumed by the thought of a Chef’s Creek oyster, a variety that, to be fair, I plan on having in my life like a new best friend...Continue Reading
Tataki Sushi: Eat Well, Save the Planet
Finding good sushi in the City is difficult. Add in the words “affordable” and “sustainable” and it becomes nearly impossible. Enter: Tataki.
First and foremost, what really sets Tataki apart from almost every other restaurant in San Francisco is their commitment to sustainable seafood. Ask yourself, and be honest, if you can tell the difference in taste between Yellowtail Tuna and Albacore Tuna? Or, for that matter, Yellowtail Tuna and Mackerel? If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably no. My sushi knowledge goes as far as knowing that I prefer firmer fish to buttery fish, shrimp tempura is magically delicious, and my rolls need to be dunked in wasabi-spiced soy sauce for ultimate satisfaction. Novice at best. So when I don’t see “traditional” sushi selections, like Bluefin Tuna, and am instead greeted with a list of Pole-Caught Skipjack Tuna (katsuo), Closed-Containment Farmed Striped Bass (Suzuki), and McFarland Springs Trout, I’m not disappointed....Continue Reading
Sustainable Seafood Swims Into the Mainstream
My first Culinary Trends article of 2011 has finally arrived! I chose to write about Sustainable Seafood for this issue, a more serious topic than my previous articles on flowers, eggs, and foraging. Because this is a very complex, difficult subject in nature, I took a more serious tone and included longer quotes from the experts that I interviewed. But don't worry, I still managed to throw in plenty of fishing/ocean/water puns!
Below is the full, unedited version. Enjoy!...Continue Reading
Marea's Press May be the Best, But in the Kitchen it Misses the Mark
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of all, let me say that my last trip to New York City happened at the end of May 2010, so this post is sadly a bit outdated.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
KelsEats’ Top 10 Dishes of 2010 – #6
6) Grilled Calamari, Frances
Less than a month after opening, Frances nailed it. This particular dish was actually the first I had ever ordered way back in January, and the memory of it stuck with me for the entire year. With only 5 ingredients (squid, Rugosa squash, preserved lemon, currants, arugula), to me this dish represents the type of food served at this restaurant: uncomplicated, seasonal, well-executed, and incredibly flavorful. I was happy to see grilled calamari served without cannellini beans and capers, and Perello’s unique combination of ingredients was particularly thoughtful. The squash mirrored the texture of that type of bean but provided an extra layer of sweetness, while the preserved lemon almost functioned as a caper substitute, adding both acidity to the calamari and tartness to balance the squash. The play between sweet and tart was also found in the tiny currants, making it so that with every bite layers of sweet-sour-salty flavor unfolded in your mouth. Although I tried other incarnations of this dish (which varied with the season), this particular composition was the most impressive. You can read about all the other dishes from that night at Frances here.
Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it's a Fish, and at Anchor & Hope, it's Delicious.
Is it a pirate ship? Is it an oceanic habitat? Is it a warehouse sprinkled with a few tables, posing as a fine-dining restaurant? Or is it simply a place to kick back after a long day of work for a drink and a solid meal? After visiting Anchor & Hope, an unassuming restaurant tucked away on a side street in SOMA, I’m convinced that it’s all of the above.
This is not the sort of restaurant where you sit back in your seat, sip your whiskey rocks, and let the mood lighting ease you into the setting – the second you step foot inside, the spacious, barge-like environment embraces you head on. From the wooden rafters, the lengths of rope hanging from the ceiling, to the lamps painted to resemble giant eyeballs, it’s clear that you’re here for a deep-sea culinary adventure.
Dive in...Continue Reading
Pesce - a Cut Above Your Average Neighborhood Italian
Okay you know the scene in the Godfather when Michael assassinates Sollozzo in the Italian restaurant? As soon as I walked into Pesce I felt like I was in a similar scene. Well, minus the white table cloths and the getting shot in the head part. This is a tile floored, wooden walled, no frills, neighborhood Italian joint that is taking a spin on "family style" by serving seafood tapas instead of giant platters of baked ziti. And it works...Continue Reading
Waterbar - Fun to Look at, Not as Fun to Eat at.
In an era when restaurants are getting cozier and street food is the emerging city-wide trend (read: the economy took a hit), waterbar is a bit out of place.
Let's not kid ourselves here - much like any other restaurant on the Embarcadero, when you come here you're paying for the atmosphere. Kuleto's vision was grand indeed and deserves 4 stars, so, if you don't care much about how the food tastes and prefer to be surrounded by white tablecloths, glitzy railings, and aquariums, then this is the place for you. This place screams power lunch, and if setting the right mood and landing the deal was more important to me than how the food tastes, then this would be a solid choice. However, as we all know, my bottom line is the food, which is 2 stars tops...Continue Reading
Smoked Salmon Rolls - Hooray for the Holidays!
With the holiday season in full swing, the time finally came for me to break out an hors d’oeuvre from the “Kelsey’s Classics” collection – salmon rolls...