Eat + Drink
If rock stars have groupies, then certain foods in SF have a similarly fanatical following: Tartine Bakery’s bread pudding, for instance. It’s one of those things that people get irrational about. (Case in point: My mother. Last time she came in the city to help me clear out my basement of junk, she threatened to reneg if I didn’t have the bread pudding waiting for her upon arrival.)
Last week, I went to Tartine with my boyfriend. When it’s not busy, I love sitting in there on a weekday morning. It feels very civilized and European.
It did, that is, until he ordered the bread pudding for himself.
God, it feels good to be right.
If you haven't already read our coverage of the Top Chef casting calls, which I wrote about in April, click here. Back then, I made the proclamation that SF's own Jamie Lauren—currently the executive chef at Absinthe—was definitely headed for fame.
And if you haven't already heard, I was right. Jaime is going to be on the next Top Chef, as what they call a "cheftestant."
Although Lauren is certainly headed for potential ridicule as well as fame (aren't all reality show contestants?), I've always thought of Top Chef as being ok, as reality shows go. But then, I watched one of the video clips on Bravo's site, where they ask TF's judges and host—Tom, Padma and Gail—what gives them a "culinary boner?" (Can you see me cringing? I'm cringing.)
Beyond a small frenzy over Ella Bella's dry-farmed tomatoes (I saw Italian cookbook author Carol Field buying up bagfuls), this is what my trip to the market last Saturday revealed:
I’m sorry to say that this is how I felt about the new Pizzeria Delfina on California Street. As anyone who knows me already knows, I am a huge Delfina booster. I love that little pizzeria on 18th street, despite the crushing popularity that has made a wait just par for the course. I love the stools flanking the open kitchen, the breadsticks and the bustle. I love the food, which always just seems like the perfect version—the perfect roasted cauliflower, the perfect tuna conserva, the perfect pizza.
I’d like to point out a little gem of a market on Church Street in Duboce Triangle, across from Safeway. It’s called Golden Produce, and it’s got some of the freshest, best-looking and most affordable vegetables in town, much of them certified organic. We’re talking plump, perfectly shaped eggplant the color of Cabernet and muscular-looking bell peppers that seem to have been airbrushed by Pantone. Even more enticing are the baby vegetables—fingerling potatoes, tiny artichokes, mini-bulbs of bok choy and sunburst squash the size of silver dollars.
The bar at Nettie's.
Yesterday, chef Joseph Manzare of Globe, Zuppa, Joey & Eddy's and Tres Agaves made public his latest restaurant venture: A meeting of the most brilliant minds, so to speak, it's going to be a highend sushi and robata restaurant with a touch of Mexican (a chile here, a pour of nice tequila there kind of thing). The name is Hecho, which means "made" in Spanish—a nod to the fact that his oldest son Max was "made in Mexico," if you know what I mean. Manzare will be opening the restaurant at the beginning of next year sometime, along with his longtime friend and former Spago co-worker, chef Naoki Uchiyama.