Tag Archives: San Francisco

Crab Louie Salad and Spud Point Marina

20 Feb

There is nothing like freshly cooked Dungeness Crab, dipped in garlic butter! I also like to make a second dipping sauce from Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice and some Curry Powder. The flavors pair very well with the Crab and a simple shaved Fennel & Apple salad (tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper), along with some crusty bread, can’t be beat. By the way, family members, please note for my “Last Supper”!

We wanted to cook up some live Dungeness Crab for dinner a few weekends ago, so took a drive out to Spud Point Marina in Bodega Bay in Northern California. It’s just a few minutes north of Lucas Wharf. Lucky for us, Seafood Watch considers this type of crab sustainable and Paisano Brothers Fisheries had a holding tank full of them–being well into the season, we were surprised by the large size of 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. It’s a good idea to take an ice chest since they only have plastic garbage bags, which are easily punctured by their claws, making your trunk wet and possibly having them escape!

If you’re not up for cooking them yourself, Spud Point Crab Company is across from the Marina and serves Crab sandwiches and Clam Chowder, among other things.

We had plenty of leftover Crab, so I made a salad with a “Louie” style dressing (including Mayo, Sweet Pickle Relish, Ketchup, Lemon Juice, Chopped Capers).

Hopefully, we’ll do this again at least one more time this year! The season begins in Mid-November (perfect for a pre-Thanksgiving meal) and runs to June, but it’s best to get them in the winter months. Do you have a favorite Crab recipe to share?

Advertisements

Seven Hills – San Francisco

22 Jan

Our good friends Katie and Michael recommended Seven Hills (named after the 7 hills of San Francisco: Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Mount Sutro, Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson). We had an early reservation and after several minutes, the Chef came out to say hello to our table. As we were introduced by Katie and Michael, I had no doubt we were about to have a really special dinner.

It was such a pleasure to meet Alex Alioto and Alex Solomou, the partners of this fantastic restaurant, located on Nob Hill at 1550 Hyde St. Alex Alioto, the Chef, shared with us that he worked in restaurants in Italy and Germany, as well as The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, working with Ron Siegal (who used to be the chef at Masa’s) and The French Laundry.

We shared Appetizers consisting of Salt Seared Monterey Bay Calamari with a delicious Eggplant Caponata, Roasted Niman Ranch Bone Marrow with a Parsley and thinly shaved Black Radish Salad (along side some Crostini and Hawaiian Red Sea Salt to garnish), and Grilled Mackerel with an Olive Tapenade. All outstanding!

The fresh pastas were light and delicious. I don’t order pasta often these days, but I had feeling their Carbonara would be worth the calories. It was amazing and I especially loved the generous, savory pieces of Fra’ Mani Pancetta.

One of the other stand out pastas of the night was a Tallegio Cheese Agnolotti with Squash Puree and Vegetable Broth. The Squash Puree was delicate and the infused green oil floating on top of the broth was a lovely sight. Thanks for sharing a bite, Jenny, and Victor for ordering some great wine!

For dessert, we shared some House Made Fresh Ricotta Cheese “Doughnuts” with an Orange Creme Anglaise. The Ricotta was mixed into the dough and they were lightly dusted with sugar. If you’ve ever had Ricotta Pancakes, they were similar, but even better since they were crispy all around. I especially loved the orange zest. Can’t wait to go back!

Hmmm…I think I need to make some Lemon Ricotta Pancakes soon!

Breakfast at MarketBar in San Francisco

30 Oct

I recently enjoyed breakfast, along with very good service, at MarketBar located at the historic Ferry Building on San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront. Sitting on the sunny outdoor patio, with bright yellow umbrellas, is a perfect place to start any day. They open at 8 a.m. on weekdays and at 9 a.m. for Brunch on the weekend. If the Farmer’s Market is happening, good luck getting a seat!

Aside from people watching and awesome views, I really appreciate their use of fresh produce, meat, poultry and fish sourced from purveyors practicing sustainable methods. For example, the breakfast menu includes a bacon bar with 3 choices, including Zoe’s Dry Cured Bacon. You can read more about Zoe’s Meats or buy their Charcuterie or bacon via this link

Other breakfast items include Crepes with Carmelized Apples and Marscapone, MarketBar Granola, and Hobbs Smoked Salmon Bruschetta with Red Onion, Capers and Goat Cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed the Farmer’s Omelette with Far West Organic Mushrooms, Onion and Gruyère with a pot of Prosperity Herbal Blend Tea.

After breakfast, be sure to save time for strolling throughout the Ferry Building. There are so many high quality food purveyors. My favorites will be a Post for another day so I hope you’ll read the blog again.

Where is your favorite breakfast spot?

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

7 Oct

You’ve probably heard that seafood is healthy for us and should be part of our diet (although there are some concerns about elevated levels of Mercury in certain fish, like Tuna and Swordfish). The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides valuable information about seafood recommendations to promote sustainability. They offer a seafood watch program suggesting what seafood to buy and what seafood to avoid. Download the pocket guide or get it on your iPhone or Android via Apps.

One sustainable fish is the Anchovy. You probably love ’em or hate ’em! If you like them but haven’t tried Anchovies in recipes other than topping a Pizza or in a Caesar Salad, I highly recommend the House-cured anchovies at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco or create your own version at home, although the House-cured Anchovies are more mild than canned.

Try this simple appetizer with a few staple ingredients:

Good quality anchovies (note, a small bottle 0r can of anchovies will be more salty than Zuni’s house-cured so I would suggest rinsing then drizzling Extra Virgin Olive Oil over them and let them marinate about 10-15 minutes before eating. Save the oil to drizzle over the dish)

Celery, sliced thinly on a diagonal

Nicoise olives (Kalamata would be a suitable substitute if you can’t find Nicoise)

Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced

Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Serve with sliced Acme Levain bread (or other Artisan Sourdough) and a glass of Champagne or Sancerre. It’s great for  a light lunch too!

Bar Agricole

2 Oct

My new favorite restaurant in San Francisco…Bar Agricole.

Located South of Market on 11th between Folsom and Harrison, in between Slim’s and DNA Lounge.

Drinks: I recommend a Brown Derby or Paloma.

Food: Try the Armenian Cucumbers with Za’atar (a Middle Eastern blend of herbs, sesame seeds and salt…to be blogged about another day), and Country Style Pork Pate with Mostarda. The menu changes to reflect the season and these were the only 2 items still listed on their site since eating there.

Andreas Willausch, formerly the Maitre d’ at  The Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, CA (http://www.farmhouseinn.com/restaurant.html) has succeeded in creating a a top notch restaurant. Andreas, hope to see you next time we visit!