Monday, April 11, 2016

sotto mare oysteria in the heart of north beach



For another San Francisco  traditional restaurant experience, check out Sotto Mare at 552 Green Street in the heart of North Beach.  Owned by Gigi Fiorucci, you may recognize two of his former SF landmarks--Maye's Oyster House on Polk Street and Caesar's near Fisherman's Wharf.  Not to disappoint, this seafood haven has a line out the door, cioppino to die for, not a french fry in sight--and they don't do dessert.  On this particular night I had their super thick and creamy chowder followed by fresh petrale sole in a piccata sauce with  perfectly cooked vege's--get in early and sit at the counter--don't be disturbed by the push and shove--it's part of the experience---Sotto Mare also sells seafood retail for the extreme home chef in all of us.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

tyler florence does the most delicious shrimp scampi with linquini

I had a craving for scampi with linguini and decided to make it for my book group.  The problem, finding the perfect recipe for a dish that has many subtle variations.  With great success from Tyler Florence's recipes in the past, I chose Tyler's Ultimate and it was fantastic.  The wine and lemon were the perfect amount of acidity and the shallot added extra depth to the flavors.  My slight change up--I made two pans of sauce so I could fully coat the shrimp in one and toss the linguini in the other. I plated the pasta and topped it with the prawns and extra sauce--yum!  So feel free to double up the sauce recipe and be sure to serve with a crispy, crusty garlic bread.  Makes 4 entree portions.

1 pound linguini
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large shallot, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
½ cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced

¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

Cook pasta in salted water for 6-8 minutes.  Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper flake until shallots soften, about 3 minutes.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil.  Return shrimp, pasta and parsley to the pan along with reserved water.  Stir well, heat through and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil ( or extra sauce if you made it) and serve immediately.  Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

dinner at hakkasan, san francisco

I just had a wonderful dinner at Hakkasan--- Chinese cuisine done with extreme style . . . a modern salute to Cantonese cuisine.  This is a destination restaurant, a chain, in fact, but with a emphasis on food, detail and decor that reminds us why it is a global brand.  Hakkasan was founded in London in 2001 and has since become one of the world’s most distinguished global restaurant, lounge and nightlife brands.  I enjoyed the Peking duck, so beautifully plated, as to be art and a dessert lemon tart that was topped with a grape sorbet that was world class!  Whether a treat or extravagance---Hakkasan is located at at One Kearney, San Francisco.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

thanksgiving 2015


I was so blessed this year to be with my family in Crescent City!  Not only was it a Thanksgiving celebration, but my brother's birthday, as well.  My parents' created and cooked a beautiful menu that included a custom ordered prime rib that was a thing of beauty.  Beef is still king--plus whipped cream horseradish!  Pumpkin pie and peanut butter chocolate cream pie sealed the meal!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

good food, great deals in san francisco

 


We all know San Francisco is a wonderful place to live, with culture, creativity and culinary delights. But all that can be challenging to the bank account.  Here are a few great restaurants with delicious food for a super value.

The Mission is loaded with great eats and two of my favorites are Lolo and Limon.  Lolo, located at 974 Valencia is a family-owned restaurant in San Francisco that utilizes local ingredients and offers non-traditional and uniquely inspired Mexican food.  Stop in for the tacos tropical or grilled beef tacos for between $9-$10.  Walk down the street to 524 Valencia for Limón's Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa, marinated free-range rotisserie chicken, slowly roasted over open flame. A quarter chicken with a choice of 2 sides and sauces will set you back about $11.  On upper Market, head to Hecho.
Located at 2200 Market, this energetic space with a great bar mixes classic and new Mexican cuisine.  Order the braised Meyer Ranch beef short rib quesadilla and be ready with your $12!
If you are on Union Square and need a quick bite, stop in Hubert Keller's Burger Bar on the 6th floor of Macy's. Minus the wait and lines of Cheese Cake Factory, enjoy the fish and chips with 3 pieces of fish, slaw and garlic fries for around $9.
 
 
 

Friday, July 3, 2015

eiffel tower restaurant in las vegas




I just had a wonderful birthday weekend in Las Vegas.  Mom came down to San Francisco and we flew to Las Vegas and into it's crazy 110 degree heat. We stayed at the MGM, a marvel of a hotel, with lovely rooms, great beds, amazing pools and so much to do, you might never leave the property. But we did, and we had an exceptional birthday celebration at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Hotel.  The Eiffel Tower is on the 11th floor over looking the fountains of the Bellagio in one direction and a scenic expanse of the strip in the other.

Serene, in soft colors and wrapped in 360 degrees of glass (with no glare or heat, amazingly), you experience perfectly executed classic French cuisine with expert service.  We dined on crab stuffed avocados, baby lettuces with toasted hazelnuts, lemon vinaigrette and the creamiest goat cheese I have ever had.  Pan-sauteed trout with meuniere sauce and wild rice and the paillard of salmon were divine.  We finished the meal with silken creme brulee all washed down with lemon drops--not that French, but damn tasty!  An elegant and delicious spot amidst the desert heat and glitter.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

fresh gem lettuce caesar salad


The Caesar is one of my favorite salads, rich and creamy dressing, chunky romaine leaves and crunchy croutons---delicious but perhaps not a salad you can eat everyday.  I came up with my own light and modern version, fresh, crisp and lemony and so easy I have been eating it every day.
I started with little gem lettuces, and separated out the smallest leaves (Trader Joe's sells the gem lettuces--3 heads for only $1.99).  I then made a Caesar dressing and thinned it with the juice of a lemon.  You can do this with your favorite bottled dressing if you like, the result should be lemony and thin enough to drizzle.  I tossed the leaves with crispy turkey bacon lardons, my substitute for croutons, shaved on good parm and drizzled with the dressing.  Cracked black pepper and you are good to go.  Restaurant worthy result!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

15 minute tiramisu

 

I love Tiramisu.  I am not in love with hours of prep.  I think I died and went to heaven when I discovered this Martha Stewart recipe for 15 minute tiramisu.  The secret to 15 minutes--have everything ready to go, of course.  I have adapted the recipe slightly, and I think the results are delicious.  Best of all--you don't cook anything!

Pound Cake Tiramisu

Ingredients:
1 and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz bar cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso, room temperature
2-3 tablespoons dark rum or brandy
1 loaf pound cake, sliced
1/4 cup shaved semisweet chocolate
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

In a large bowl, beat together with an electric mixture the cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla till smooth and thickened.   Combine coffee and rum/brandy.
In a 2 quart baking dish, lay half the cake slices in a single layer, trim to fit.  Brush with half the coffee mixture.  Top with half the cream mixture and half the shaved chocolate.  Repeat.  Dust top with cocoa powder and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.