The Irresistibility of Cane Rosso
I like to consider myself somewhat hard to get, at least culinarily speaking. But at Cane Rosso, the collaboration between Coi's Daniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino, formerly of Delfina, I turned to putty. Because this little Italian-style rotisserie/sandwich shop just gets it all right. First of all, the Ferry Building space—formerly occupied by Mistral—is beautiful and breezy, and while you're ordering you can watch meat turning on slowly on a spit, see cooks assembling salads and otherwise geek out by looking at dishes of cherry tomato conserva, spouted copper cans of olive oil and bountiful displays of farm-fresh peaches. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.
The aesthetic merits of Cane Rosso would matter little if the menu wasn't equally appealing—but who can resist a porchetta sandwich with plum conserva, or shreds of braised beef brisket on a yielding Acme roll moistened with braising juices, topped with gently cooked cherry tomatoes? No one, that's who. At least, no one smart. I haven't worked my way through the whole menu yet, but I sit at my desk now daydreaming about the breakfast sandwich, a fried egg with pancetta on brioche, and thinking hard about the Straus soft-serve ice cream topped with tayberries.
The rotisserie aspect of the menu is equally appealing—spit-roasted chickens from Marin Sun Farms, fresh ham with a generous layer of fat and sides like roasted potatoes and stewed black-eyed peas. Cane Rosso manages to masterfully showcase local ingredients, but manages to do so while still creating dishes with rich, lusty flavors—dishes like these are no wallflowers, seasoned mightily as they are. Up until this point, a trip to the Ferry Plaza Marketplace meant picking up dinner in its raw form—cheeses, fruits, vegetables and bread—and creating a meal from what I'd hunted and gathered. But with Cane Rosso in the mix, that may no longer be the case.