A bunch of little news/muse items for you. (Kind of a blogging amuse bouche?)
First up, Blog Appetit participated in Sweetnicks' weekly round up of antioxidant rich foods recipes with the summer farmstand corn soup. Check out her 21st weekly ARF Roundup.
Next, have you seen the Bravo promo for tonight's Top Chef finale? They are not giving anything away. Did like the line they were using in the promo: Seasoned Finale.
Last night my local independent bookstore A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland, CA, hosted a reception for cookbook author, restaurant entrepreneur and chef David Burke. The talk was of Burke looking at a Bay area spot for his latest restaurant. The buzz was on Montclair Bistro's (no website yet) renditions of appetizers based on recipes from his book David Burke's New American Classics.
My favorite were the mushroom "chips." Meaty and earthy with a nice crunch and well salted, they were a revelation. Burke shared that when he makes them he cuts the gills off of portobello mushrooms and then slices them very thin. He then fries up the mushroom slices in clarified butter until their fungi goodness is concentrated and they are crispy almost all the way through with just a bit of tender bite in the middle. I'd like to try the recipe by baking the mushroom slices to dry and concentrate the flavors and then finish them in the clarified butter or perhaps a little olive oil and toss with some very finely ground sea salt or even sea salt mixed with herbs.
Lastly, San Francisco Weekly, a publication based out of guess where, has published its best of 2006 list. A very full listing for food and drink includes the ethnic, the quirky, the obvious, the "are they kidding" and lots more. The last few years I've spent more quality food time eating here in the East Bay then across the Bay Bridge, but I know a few of their choices:
Best burger (one of several picks in this category) Mo's on Grant Avenue. Big juicy and grilled before your eyes in a great neighborhood, a bit of funk and a whiff of punk between Chinatown and Little Italy.
Best cupcake Citizen Cake near the Civic Center and the fun and quickly gentrifying Hayes St. shopping district. Haven't actually had the cupcakes, but sit at the bar and look through the big plate glass windows and watch the bakers decorate the cakes and other goodies. Food and drinks are delish and the house made candies, pastries and cakes are delectable.
Best French Cafe Cafe de la Presse Grant at Bush (near Union Square) Lots of atmosphere, wicker chairs, croissants and croques monsieurs. Convenient for breakfast if you stay at the nearby hotels. Coffee drinks are exceptional, the food is fine, but nothing to make you think you were back in Paris. Small foreign newstand to catch up with the "real" life that in all rights you should be living in Paris or Prague.
Best French Deli Mistral Rotisserie Provencale, Ferry Plaza. One of the many wonders of the wondrous Ferry Plaza. Last time I was there I had a main dish and a few sides, all exceptional. Garlicky frog legs, wondrous potatoes. It was great. Another time a lamb stew was the star of the plate. Take it out, eat it there at the few indoor tables or go out back and feast on the view of the bay from the outdoor picnic tables.
Best Time Travel St. Francis Fountain, 24th street at York, near the Mission district. Amid the taquerias, panderias and papusa palaces of the Mission is this blast to your grandparents' past, an honest confection of an ice cream parlor dating back to 1918. Old-fashioned lunch counter food and lots of ice cream treats to go with the decor, this place is worth a detour.
There are a few others on the massive SF Weekly list I've sampled, but that gives you a feel for the list. Check it out yourself at the SF Weekly site. The link has all the addresses and phone numbers for the chosen establishments as well.
David Burke Top Chef San Francisco Restaurants Soup
Resource, Rant and Rave:
You can order Burke's book through Great Good Place (see above) but there is no link to the book on the website. Check it out and email the store or buy it at your local independent bookstore. When was the last time Amazon called you up and invited you to meet a cookbook author and sample some free wine and appetizers? Support Your Local Book Store.