While it is hard to have a favorite season at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, summer is definitely the easiest to enjoy. The stone fruit is ripe and ready, the musk melons are fragrant, field-grown tomatoes need little more than a dash of salt and corn is abundant.
I was lucky enough to be invited to Locanda's friends and family dinner last Saturday night. It's always exciting and nerve-racking to watch a restaurant get ready to launch (for those of you who can't wait, Locanda opens this Saturday)—especially in this day and age where "soft openings" really aren't possible. Between the Yelpers gunning for “first-to-review” status and the bloggers trying to one-up each other, you’ve got about T-minus no minutes from opening to a barrage of online critiques. There's no landing pad, only hard ground.
With all the Italian restaurants continuing to open in San Francisco, I've been talking shop with some of the city's best chefs. Particularly, about dried pasta.
Should you think dried pasta is inferior product, think again. Dried pasta is used very specifically for preparations such as carbonara. No self-respecting Roman would be caught dead with a bowlful of carbonara made with anything else. It's a dish that calls for spaghetti with a backbone!
Chef Anthony Strong, one of 7x7's 2010 "Top 20 Under 40", returned recently from a two month trip to Rome where he got paid to learn the ropes (mostly at Osteria di San Cesario), a chef's dream come true. Lucky for us, though, he'll be applying his newfound knowledge to Delfina's next restaurant, Locanda, when it opens on Valencia Street in the spring of next year. Delfina just sent out its newsletter where Strong details the highlights of his trip. If you know Strong, it's so very him. Funny, quirky, offally.
Chris Kronner, 27,
executive chef, Bar Tartine
Anthony Strong, 27,
executive chef, Locanda
Chris Kronner and Anthony Strong might be the envy of every chef in town. They rein over two of the city’s most nationally acclaimed kitchens: Anne and Craig Stoll’s Pizzeria Delfina and Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson’s Bar Tartine. Strong is transitioning to be executive chef of Locanda, Delfina’s new Roman restaurant at Valencia and 16th streets. It has a hopeful January opening, as does the expansion of Bar Tartine, which will include a stand-alone bakery for Robertson’s breads. Now that they’ll be next-door neighbors, Kronner and Strong will share something less glamorous—an alleyway trash area.
If I don’t eat pho twice I week I am a miserable human being. Seriously, I eat it two or three times a week, mostly for breakfast. There’s nothing better than going to Turtle Tower at 8:30 a.m. when they open and sucking down a big bowl of pho. It’s like you’re Mario and you hit the golden star: You are powered up and can go all day.