February has arrived, and the frenzy of yet another holiday is kicking in. If wine and chocolate have anything to do with your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day, set your sights on a sweet trip to Wine Country.
Today, there might be more chocolatiers in SF than you can shake a stick at, but Michael Recchiuti—the man who started the movement here with Michael Recchiuti Confections, back in 1997—continues to makes some of the finest chocolates and confections in the US. He preys on weak food editors like myself, sending samples of his delights with every holiday. Right now, on my desk there's a box of his beautiful honeycomb-filled chocolate eggs that I'm trying to ignore. (Though of course I've had one. Or three.)
Anyone who loves chocolate (if you don't, consider yourself suspect) should prepare their blood sugar for the massive gathering of chocolatiers at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon at Fort Mason on April 17th. It's 50,000 square feet of the best chocolate in the world at your fingertips for tasting or just gazing at lovingly. You decide.
My boyfriend will tell you that chocolate doesn't last more than an hour at our house—especially if it's a solid bar of something dark, very dark. But the nine-piece box from Au Coeur Des Chocolates (hand-dipped in Dogpatch) made me pause—enough to slow down for two whole days and appreciate the jewel-like bonbons, each no bigger than a stamp, with their delicate, air-brushed designs. There's something artful about the speckled ginger, the way the geodesic shell snaps and gives way to spiced, dark, and smooth ganache with wild honey. My eyes went for the passion fruit heart covered in fine white couverture; the buttery shell perfectly balances the bright, creamy fruit.
This Week in Food: Nombe's Renovation Complete, Straw Opens in Hayes Valley, Happy Hour at Press Club
The Mission's izakaya spot, Nombe, finished their renovation last week. Their new interior comes with an updated Japanese pub food menu, including edamame hummus with wonton chips, ginko nuts and grilled lemon, and fried burdocks with chili aioli. 2491 Mission St.
On cold days like these, nothing warms me over more than a mug of rich hot chocolate. The cuppa cocoa from TCHO's Pier 17 cafe is made with three varieties of sustainable chocolate to be stirred, not shaken.
3-4 tablespoons TCHO crumbles
3/4 cup steamed milk, divided
1. Mix the chocolate in with half of the steaming milk. Stir briskly until the crumbles melt.
2. Stir in the remaining milk, and enjoy!
Whether you're celebrating with a sweetheart, a gang of single buds or by yourself, chocolate is in order. Here are our picks.
For your coworkers (aw, aren't you nice!)
Everyone in the office will appreciate the flavor focused “Hug Me Lazy Bite Me Tasty” treats from Tcho. Forty-eight mini bars in a nifty tin ($40) will keep your coworkers happily munching away. Pier 17, 415-963-5090