I chat with Chris Thompson, executive chef/salumaio at Chestnut Street’s award-winning (and always-hopping) A16, on his first full day back at work after being hit by a cab outside the restaurant three weeks ago.
We're big fans of Sunday Funday, and nothing winds it down like a soulful meal. Although it's typically a day of rest and relaxation for chefs, we've noticed a growing number of them rallying to put together special fixed price feasts to wind down the weekend. Here are the latest Sunday Suppers at some of our favorite restaurants around town. Add them to your weekend dossier, and consider it our prescription for the Sunday blues.
It's Fall. And with Fall, restaurant openings go haywire. Charles Phan's Wo Hing General Store, three new BBQ/Southern-inspired restaurants (in the Mission and the Marina) and the first of three Bay Area Umami Burgers should be opening in the next few months. And that's just off the top of my head. With soft-opening this, and grand opening that, firing off left and right, sometimes it's nice—necessary, even—to step back and relish the gems that've been sitting here, right underneath our noses, for years: the Chez Papas, Canteens, and Outerlands of our city. This post is dedicated to the San Francisco fixtures that haven't just survived for three, five, maybe even 20 years, in our cutthroat restaurant-scape; they've flourished. And you better believe they've got something good in the works for the next few months.
There's something that my husband, a longtime restaurant industry person has taught me: When going out to dinner, have no fear.
Before I met Joe, I would never in a million years have attempted to go to the most popular restaurants in town, on say, a Friday night—with no reservations. But he never thinks twice about it. His attitude is, it'll work out, and it almost always does.
Long a staple of izakayas and taquerias in San Francisco, tongue meat has started to break ethnic barriers, slipping its way onto California-influenced menus of every stripe. Chefs adore its flavor and its texture. Diners fall into one or two camps: "Why not?" or just "Why?" Love it or hate it, menu sightings of animal tongue are becoming almost common at popular restaurants around town. Over the course of interviewing several chefs about it, descriptors like "melt in your mouth," "unctuous" and "delicate" were each dropped on several occasions. Naysayers, are you ready to be convinced? Take a look at what chefs are doing with it around town these days. Maybe it'll get you to watch your mouth.
7x7 asks the city's chefs for the recipes to their most loved cocktails, bar snacks, starters, mains, and desserts. If there's a dish you can't stop thinking about and want to make at home, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your wish may end up on the blog, along with the actual recipe from the chef.
At A16 in the Marina, the long, square strands of house-made maccaronara soak up sauce—usually a meaty sugo topped with ricotta salata—perfectly. Chef David Taylor uses 00 flour, finely ground, durum wheat that's high in protein and makes excellent pasta and bread. You can find it at Rainbow in the Mission or even Andronico's in the Sunset.
Golden boy Nate Appleman has left both A16 and SPQR where he is both chef and co-owner. The grapevine news comes only a month after Appleman cooked at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, which honored his selection for one of the annual, coveted "Best New Chef" slots, and just a couple months after he accepted his Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation.
Welcome to our third guest blogger series written by Ella Lawrence, who works as both a freelance writer and a server at popular restaurant in San Francisco. Lawrence has been published in Travel & Leisure, Time Out, and the San Francisco Chronicle and has her own blog, Restaurant Girl Speaks. Every Tuesday for six-weeks, she’ll be dishing out the tips on how to be a better diner, something about which she has a lot to say.
This just in: Nate Appleman, pizzaiolo, San Francisco darling, butcher extraordinaire and chef of A16 and SPQR, has been named one of Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs of 2009. He's joined on the list by Chris Kostow, chef at Meadowood in St. Helena, giving the Bay Area ample representation on the New York-based mag's list. Congratulations! And also, oh no! Now we'll never be able to get a table.