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.
It's official. Print is not dead. The 2011 fall cookbooks have been landing on my desk as swiftly as leaves from an autumnal tree—with a bit more of a thud. Here are my picks.
DO-THE-RIGHT THING BOOKS
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.
Last week I spent a couple of nights revisiting some old restaurants—I hit A16 on Monday, which is now under the able tutelage of Liza Shaw, and then the following night I went to Town Hall, where I had not been in an embarrasing several years. I have been wanting to return ever since I heard that Vernon Morales had come on board as chef. Morales was the chef at the now shuttered Winterland, where he made waves with cuisine that nodded at his previous training, which includes a five-month stint at El Bulli and time at Restaurant Daniel in New York.
The dynamic trio behind Salt House and Town Hall (Doug Washington and Mitchell and Steve Rosenthal) are at it again. Their latest venture, Anchor & Hope, is an oyster and fish house with a San Francisco sensibility—it’s opening April 21 (83 Minna St., 415-501-9100). Here, Doug Washington (the front-of-the-house man) dishes on the new spot.
How did you come up with the name?
Anchor and Hope is the name of an old tavern in London that we absolutely love.
Did you try to evoke that pub in any other way?