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We Got Game (On Our Plates, That Is)


Game on the rotisserie at Poggio.

I’m assured by experts smarter than myself that it isn’t really game season right now. Okay, maybe not technically, but game is certainly a current trend on SF menus. A few weeks back I attended the Allo Spiedo event at Poggio in Sausalito, in which chef Peter McNee roasted all manner of game—rabbit, pheasant, quail, goat—alongside incredible accompaniments such as a green garlic sformato (yum), a pillowy presentation of cheese ravioli smothered in an earthy lamb ragu (yummer) and a Meyer lemon mousse with meringue and toasted pistachios (yummest). Then last week I attended an artist’s dinner at Lincart that featured wild boar, which gallery owner Charles Linder had hunted. To top things off, Linder’s hunting partner (and also the chef of the meal) had been none other than Angelo Garro, the Italian blacksmith/cook/forager/Renaissance man who helps Michael Pollan hunt his own meal in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Only in San Francisco.


While you're at it, order the sformato.

Poggio isn’t serving the game anymore—the festival lasted only one week, though their rotisserie is always in full swing. (The sformato, however, graces the menu throughout spring and the lemon mousse is a mainstay, thank God.) But you do have another chance to get in on the action: Through Saturday, the Big 4 restaurant at the Huntington Hotel is serving a wild game menu that includes such temptations as rabbit pot pie, tagine of African pheasant and tacos made with wild boar carnitas. The full menu is here. I’ll be going and taking advantage of this gamey trend while it lasts.


Big 4's coffee-spice-and-cacao-rubbed caribou.
Photo by Lara Hata.