Toque of San Francisco
By Carol & Joe Davis
Executive Chef Pamela Mazzola , Author Patricia Wells , Executive Chef / Owner Nancy Oakes
KCBS Narsai David and Author/Journalist Walter Wells
We had a fabulous lunch at Boulevard in their LAvenue Private Dining Room. We met Patricia and Walter Wells www.patriciawells.com who moved to France over 30 years ago. They were in San Francisco promoting their new book Weve Always Had Paris
. and Provence, which is a scrapbook of their life in France. Patricia is well known for her French Cook Books, cooking classes and food writing. Executive Chef / Owner Nancy Oakes, who is a James Beard Foundation Award Winner for Best Chef in California was our host and prepared a truly wonderful lunch from Patricias Vegetable Harvest Cookbook. Each course was equally excellent beginning with a Savory Mixed Herb & Goat Cheese Sorbet followed by luscious Tomato & Strawberry Gazpacho. A unique Watercress Salad with Creamy Bacon & 62.5 Egg was our next treat. The entrées were Wild Salmon in Spinach Leaves, caper lemon and olive sauce and Pan Seared Quail with Mustard and Fennel, white bean puree and morels in cream. Dessert was a fabulous Cherry Pistachio Cake with Cherry Sorbet. Boulevard is arguably the best restaurant in San Francisco with world class cuisine. While dining we also enjoyed meeting KCBS food editor Narsai David, Bruce Aidells and Co-Executive Chef Pamela Mazzola.
Watercress Salad with Creamy Bacon & 62.5 Egg
One Mission Street
San Francisco, Ca. 94105
Chez Papa Resto
Chez Papa Resto Executive Chef David Bazirgan and Restaurateur Marc Sempere
It is always exciting when a new restaurant opens in San Francisco. Chez Papa Resto features French Provencal Cuisine in a California style. It has a sophisticated yet fun atmosphere and is located in a new dining destination in San Francisco called Mint Plaza. We loved the warm and inviting décor which is accented by lovely candles on each table. The appetizers that we enjoyed were the Seared Diver Scallops with Fava beans, Pistou with a Pine Nut Vinaigrette and the Kobe Beef Tartare with Dijon Mustard, capers, shallots, garlic, Toast Points, Quail egg, parsley and olive oil chili. Our favorite entrée was the Roasted Monkfish with Bouillabaisse Fumet, La Ratte Potatoes, clams, calamari and rouille. We enjoyed meeting talented Executive Chef David Bazirgan who told us that he focuses on using local locally grown sustainable ingredients whenever they are available. Restaurateur Marc Sempere is quite pleased by the fact that his new restaurant has been so well received by the both local San Franciscans and tourists. We look forward to returning for another wonderful dinner!
Chez Papa Resto
414 Jesse Street
San Francisco, Ca. 94103
Flavours of Abruzzo
Peperoni Cacio E Uova
We had dinner at Il Fornaio at Levi Plaza in San Francisco where they pride themselves on the fact that they use primarily authentic ingredients from Italy. We dined in their Piazza which is almost like outdoor dining. The focus of the evening was a celebration of the Great Flavours of Abruzzo, which is a centrally located picturesque region of Italy that is famous for excellent ingredients which translates into great cuisine. The Antipasti that we loved was Peperoni Cacio E Uova which was fresh bell pepper filled with pecorino, fresh Primo Sale cheese, bread, egg, garlic and parsley. Next we enjoyed the Primo which was a fabulous Risotto con Ragu Di Seppie Cozze e Vongole which had a subtle sauce over the chewy and crunchy Carnaroli rice with cuttlefish, ragu clams, mussels, tomato, garlic and trebbiano wine. The Secondis that we enjoyed were the Stracotto Di Maiale which was a flavorful Roasted pork shoulder seasoned with herbs and garlic served with roasted almond potatoes, delicious oyster mushrooms and grilled fennel and the Spigola Vecchi Sapori which was a whole roasted Mediterranean sea bass with zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and parsley that was topped with a trebbiano wine sauce and served with roasted almond potatoes. Both were delicious and melted in your mouth. We loved our dessert which was Dolci Semifreddo Al Torrone Con Punch Abruzzese, a Semi-frozen custard with Punch Abruzzese liqueur and torrone (almond nougat) that was drizzled with chocolate sauce. The Wines that perfectly paired with dinner was the Vini dell Abruzzo 2007 which was a dry white wine Pecorino, Cantina Tollo and the 2006 full bodied red wine Montepulciano DAbruzzo, Velenosi, Quattro Mani. Espresso Almond Cookies by Cantucci DAbruzzo was the perfect ending to this great meal featuring the cuisine and products of Abruzzo prepared by Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon and his talented crew.
Home Made Pasta
1265 Battery Street
San Francisco, Ca. 94111
McCormick & Kuletos
Executive Chef Liz Ozanich and Sous Chef Lamar Moore
We recently had family in town from Boston and had the challenge of finding a restaurant where both the adults and teenagers would find something to their liking on the menu, as well as give them one of the best views in The City. McCormick & Kuletos immediately came to mind. We had just been there for their Great Plate Debate which was a dinner in celebration of the start of Wild Alaskan Salmon Season. We learned that all of their salmon was flown in on ice daily from Alaska and that there are five species of wild Salmon (King, Sockeye, Coho, Chum and Pink). We also learned that salmon can be prepared grilled, broiled, poached, baked, smoked or sautéed. It is filled with Omega 3 Fatty Acids which makes it a heart healthy meal and that the high oil content contributes to the rich and intense flavors. Executive Chef Liz Ozanich and Sous Chef Lamar Moore prepared Salmon four different ways and we were there to vote for our favorites. Our favorite was the Grilled Stikine River Sockeye Salmon prepared with Brentwood sweet corn pudding and Lizs Grandmas tomato salad with basil aioli and red pepper aioli. This red salmon had a fabulous flavor and we loved the corn pudding. Another favorite preparation was the Roasted Copper River King known as Chinook Salmon with Alsatian Choucoute, braised Lentil du Puy, carrots, Vichy and red wine mustard. Dont forget to have dessert as their offerings are quite delicious and yes our relatives were wowed by the food and view!
McCormick & Kuletos
900 North Point Street
San Francisco, Ca. 94109
Diver Scallops Cervices
When its time for a Margarita and some authentic Mexican Cuisine in an upbeat lively and friendly atmosphere Mexico DF is the place to be. Start with their Margarita Tepito on the rocks with 100% Agaves Tequila but beware that one might not be enough as they are habit forming. We enjoyed the spicy and chunky Guacamole made with Mango red onion which came with excellent fresh crunchy chips. Youll also enjoy the Octopus and Diver Scallops Cervices. We loved the tartness of the cervices which came with olives and onions. Our favorite entrée was the Carnitas with guacamole, handmade corn tortillas and salsa de molcajete. We liked the fact that it came with no rice or beans. It is the real deal and simply delicious as Chefs Roberto Aguiar and Luis Contreras are quite talented. They use traditional family recipes, made with the care you would normally only find at home. For dessert definitely try the Burnt Caramel Flan which was delicious and quite a large serving.
139 Steuart St
San Francisco, Ca. 94105
We were pleased to return to Troya which serves Modern Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine. Co- Owner Berk Kinalilar told us that they have a new Executive Chef Randy Gannaway who has changed the menu to offer lighter and fresher dishes with more local and sustainable ingredients. We loved the Borek- Baked Filo with organic Bloomsdale spinach, pine nuts, raisins and creamy Feta Cheese. It was a wonderful appetizer with a terrific light sauce and was not too rich. Youll love the Grilled Sardines with County Line Cress and sweet pearl onions. This dish was unique and fabulous. With our dinner we enjoyed Turkish wines. The Kavaklidere Cankaya White Wine from Anatolia was light and fruity and the Kavaklidere Yakut Red wine was a Pinot Noir style. We loved the traditional succulent Lamb Kebabs with mixed greens, spring onions and Basmati pilaf. Our favorite dessert was the Chocolate Pot de Crème with rose whipped cream. Finish your meal with Turkish Coffee and your taste buds will have had a Turkish treat.
Borek- Baked Filo
349 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA. 94118
Happy 10th Anniversary to Le Colonial in San Francisco !!!!
It is a great place for Dinner, Drinks, Appetizers and Music by The Martini Brothers Band.
20 Cosmo Place
San Francisco, CA 94109
Nicks Cove is located on the beautiful shores of Tomales Bay in Marshall which has been a scenic coastal fishing community for over a century. This hundred year old restaurant was a cornerstone of the community and now has been totally renovated. It has a rustic interior, formidable bar, enclosed deck dining area , raw seafood bar, communal dining table , fire place and a fabulous water view from everywhere in the restaurant.
Pat Kuleto has designed more than 100 restaurants and is proud of creating fabulous dining environments like Nicks Cove. His Partner Executive Chef Mark Franz who was awarded the Chef of the Decade Award by the California Culinary Academy overseas the menu at Nicks which changes daily. This allows him to offer the freshest sustainable seafood, seasonal meats and local produce.
You must have Nicks Oysters on the Half Shell from their Raw Bar. They were all local from Tomales Bay and included Preston Points, Hog Island Sweetwaters, and Hog Island Kumamotos. You will be able to tell the nuances in taste and texture and it is hard to go wrong with any of these tasty oysters. Next we had Nicks BBQ Oysters which were topped with BBQ sauce, garlic and parsley butter. We enjoyed them because the BBQ sauce didnt over power the taste of these fresh local oysters. The Special Appetizer was Octopus poached in Saki! It was delicious and actually better than similar dishes that weve had in the best Japanese restaurants. Another must have is the Bodega Bay Dungeness Crab Cakes which are a lovely presentation of three small perfectly browned all crab meat cakes served with celery salad and sherry aioli .They were very light and fabulous. Of Course we had to try the Soup. The Tomales Bay Clam Chowder which was delicious is made with Manila clams and Applewood smoked bacon. It is more subtle than most and not too thick allowing both the clam and bacon flavors to shine through.
Our favorite entre was the Pan Roasted California White Bass. This farm raised fish was delicate yet simple with a delicious crust served with spring panzanella, golden raisins and amazing sherry brown butter. Another fabulous seafood dish was the Hawaiian Ono Tataki which was served with Thai red curry, cilantro chimichurri rice noodles and roasted pineapple. It was seared perfectly and as good as youd get in Hawaii. Even though Nicks has a seafood centric menu dont leave the meat eaters at home as we had one of the best steaks that we had eaten in quite some time. The PRIME Meyer Ranch 22 oz. Bone In Rib Eye was served with Balsamic Demi glace, Pt. Reyes blue cheese mashed potatoes, glazed carrots. It was a hearty rancher sized portion that was delicious and prepared rare as ordered. The Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese makes the mashed potatoes extra delicious. The Desserts were all excellent and light. Our favorite was the Summer Berry Pudding topped with Chantilly cream. We also loved the Lemon Bar with macerated strawberries which was quite tart and delicious as well.
The Wine List features local wines from the West Coast and around the world.
We enjoyed the 2007 Trecini Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc which was light and lively and paired well with the Oysters. The 2005 Peterson Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley paired perfectly with the steak. Nicks also features local beers on tap including India Pale Ale from the Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sonoma County, CA. as well as a full bar. We were told afterward by our knowledgeable friend Rick HYPERLINK "http://www.rickswinecellar.com" www.rickswinecellar.com that Nicks Chocolate Martinis are not to be missed which only gives us one more reason to return. We spoke with Chef de Cuisine Adam Mali who had previously worked with Gary Danko in San Francisco before he moved to work in Colorado. He told us that he loves being back in California with all the fresh produce, fish, cheeses and meats which gives him a great base for infusing his own style and flair.
Chef de Cuisine Adam Mali
23240 Highway One
Marshall, CA. 94940
Nectar Wine Lounge & Restaurant
Seared Dayboat Scallops
We had an opportunity to return to Nectar where we dined about a year ago. It still retains a strong focus on wine and California cuisine however there is a new Executive Chef Jeffrey Lloyd who was the Chef de Cuisine at both Aqua and at Michael Mina in San Francisco and has upped the ante on what comes out of the kitchen. To start out our wine choice was the 2006 Col de Salici Prosecco Valdobiaddene, Italy which has very refreshing citrus flavors. We loved the Oyster Bisque which was silken bisque of oysters over a butter cream biscuit and crowned with a crispy fried oyster. It was pungent, exquisite, light and flavorful. Next we enjoyed the Seared Dayboat Scallops dressed with a Champagne- caviar beurre blanc, with haricot verte and crème fraiche whipped potatoes. It was truly fabulous. You must also try the American Kobe grilled flat iron steak, across creamy celery root puree with parsnips, carrots and blue cheese butter. It was prepared perfectly medium rare as ordered and we loved the blue cheese butter. It paired perfectly their Nectar choice of 2004 Stonestreet, Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Ca. We were pleased that both the appetizers and the entrees were equally delicious. We loved the dessert. The Granny Smith Apple Crepes were warm crepes with Masonic homes Apple Butter, tossed pecans and dulce de leche ice cream. It was a lovely presentation, a clever concept and a light and tasty finish to a great meal!
Granny Smith Apple Crepes
270 Lorton Avenue
Burlingame, Ca. 94010
Executive Chef/ Owner Kofo Domingo
Executive Chef/ Owner Kofo Domingo has opened a unique restaurant in Berkeley which features West African Cuisine. Most of the dishes are spicy and hot and have
exotic flavors. The appetizers that we enjoyed were the Akara which consisted of bean fritters served with shrimp and house salsa. It was fragrant and delicious. Another favorite was the Assiette of Plantains. It was served as a trio of Crisp Plantain Chips, Plantain Wedges and Musa (Plantain Dumplings). This was quite filling and served as both a sweet appetizer and later as dessert. The Efo Stew entrée was very spicy. It was spinach with chicken simmered in homemade tomato based sauce served with Iyan pounded yam. We also enjoyed the West African Music which plays in the background. We were sorry to here that the restaurant has closed but expect Chef Kofo Domingo to resurface soon.
Crisp Plantain Chips, Plantain Wedges and Musa (Plantain Dumplings)
1725 University Avenue
Berkeley, Ca. 94703
We attended a food event in San Francisco called the French Connection that was sponsored by The French Trade Office. This multi city road show was promoting French food products. We tasted quite a few products and here are a few that we liked. Daregal Gourmet www.daregalgourmet.com offers frozen chopped herbs which are prewashed, and ready to use from a sprinkle out container. We also enjoyed the Bornier Private label Dijon mustard from Europeenne De Condiments www.moutardedechefs.com. French Chocolates squares in bite sized servings by Monbana www.monbana.com were also terrific.
Until we eat again