Despite what year-round "spider" crab sushi rolls might tell you, soft shell crabs are a highly seasonal item, available in very limited quantity, especially on the West Coast. Supplies of these freshly molted crabs, a product of Chesapeake Bay shellfish, are usually exhausted by July, so order them up anywhere you see them. We recommend you take this list of Bay Area restaurants serving soft shells, and squeeze in as many dishes as humanely possible in the next few weeks.
Two things you may not know about Salt House co-owner Doug Washington: 1) He's Canadian 2) He hates poutine. That's precisely why it's been a menu staple at his restaurant since it opened five years ago. His partner, executive chef Mitch Rosenthal thought it would be a funny joke to put poutine on the opening menu at Salt House. It's not too much of a surprise that the Quebecan comfort food—an unmistakable combination of French fries, cheese and gravy—caught on. "It's fat on fat on fat," says Rosenthal. "People love it."
Here's the good news—the team behind Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope (brothers Mitch and Steve Rosenthal and Doug Washington) is opening a new restuarant. The bad news? The new restaurant, Irving Street Kitchen, is in Portland, Oregon. Like their restaurants here in San Francisco, Irving Street is housed within a historic building in the Pearl district, amidst many other repurposed warehouses—the construction photos above reveal a very familiar landscape. Not that there's anything wrong with that—the three restaurants they own now have been huge hits here in San Francisco, and we're betting they'll do just as well up North.