Beast and the Hare
It's been a solid two months since the foie gras ban set in, and San Francisco is starting to feel the void. Some chefs and entrepreneurs are finding ways to dodge the ban. Take Txoko. This North Beach Basque-Californian restaurant capitalizes on the fact that it's still legal to give away foie, handing out free foie gras snacks on Wednesdays to show their continued love for the liver. The delicacy has also surfaced at charity events and underground dinners. Meanwhile, a few chefs are filling the void with dishes that are super rich, or similar in flavor. Here's a look at what to try.
Remember those pickles from Vlasic with the smiling stork on the front? Well you can forget about them. Pickles may be everywhere in San Francisco right now, but they're way outside the bread-and-butter box. Think pickled baby green tomatoes, turmeric-pickled cauliflower, cabbage in chili paste, or any of the thirty something other pickles Nick Balla will rotate into the dedicated pickle section on the menu at Bar Tartine. He's not the only one up to his elbows in brine these days. Hayes Valley's new Boxing Room has a pickle section on its menu too. And Danny Bowien is serving pickled peanuts to the masses at his flagrantly popular Mission Chinese Food. Why pickles? And why now? Balla thinks the pickle movement springs from a collective new openness to more ethnic flavors in slightly higher end restaurants. After talking to a slew of chefs around town about their best pickle practices, I'd have to agree.