With the past few weeks of unseasonably warm weather, it’s abundantly clear that we are reaching summer. While we all know these warm days won’t last, it still marks the arrival of summer ingredients. First up, berries. We’ve rounded up a list of some juicy, tart dishes and drinks utilizing summer berries.
Perbacco: 230 California St. (pictured above)
Pastry Chef Laura Cronin is embracing spring and experimenting with the balance between sweet and savory, fruity and herbaceous. We're eyeing her torn ricotta pound cake, using housemade ricotta baked into a moist cake, topped with gelato made from the ricotta whey, and garnished with pistachio cream, strawberry sauce, and quick-caramelized strawberries. She also whips up an array of decadent strawberry and herb sorbets and gelatos.
Pican Restaurant: 2295 Broadway, Oakland
Pican, located in South Oakland, specializes in California cuisine with Southern flavors and traditions. They boast one of the most comprehensive Bourbon selections in the Bay Area, and can make a mean shrimp and grits or fried oysters. For spring, Chef Sophie Uong showcases pickled fresh blueberries, which she serves with savory pork belly.
Luella: 1896 Hyde St.
For a sweeter note, this cozy Russian Hill restaurant now serves buttermilk panna cotta with huckleberries and an almond cookie. And be sure to try the mascarpone cheesecake with blackberries and candied almonds. Whichever dessert strikes you, pair it with a glass of wine and enjoy the flavors of spring in this small neighborhood spot.
FIVE Restaurant: 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley
FIVE Restaurant in Downtown Berkeley is a modern American bistro serving seasonal California flavors. Chef Banks White rings in spring with a rustic apple and cranberry crostada. Pair this sweet dessert with a topping of savory, whipped Laura Chanel goat cheese for a dessert that satisfies all the senses.
Baker & Banker: 1701 Octavia St.
This husband and wife team joined the forces of their culinary talents by offering both sweet and savory treats. Executive chef Jeff Banker creates dinner and brunch dishes, while Pastry Chef Lori Baker whips up delicious desserts. This spring, she’s featuring a strawberry crisp with brown sugar oatmeal streusel, and white chocolate ginger ice cream. She has also created a white chocolate raspberry truffle cupcake and a strawberry cupcake in the bakery. We can't wait to see what Chef Jeff might whip up using berries.
E&O Asian Kitchen: 314 Sutter St.
Chef Sharon Nahm and Mixologist Carlos Yturria will highlight one spice every month in a savory dish, a dessert, and a cocktail. Try their strawberry, pepper, and basil condensed milk pound cake for a first taste into this new seasonal venture.
Bluestem Brasserie: 1 Yerba Buena Lane
Bluestem's signature Bluestem Smash exists to highlight whatever fruit's in season. This season, it’s strawberries muddled with mint, St. Germain Vodka or Whiskey, lime, and sparkling wine.