recipes of the day 04/18/04....san francisco food.

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by snorton938, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Likes Received:
    i'm going to san francisco (in cyberspace) to check out all the local's the first good one i've found:

    Catalan Seafood Stew (Romesco de Peix)
    For maximum flavor, cook the shrimp in their shells. If you prefer not to eat with your fingers, peel the shrimp first.

    1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 pound halibut fillets, or other meaty white fish, in 4 equal pieces

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    3/4 cup fish stock

    3/4 cup romesco sauce (see recipe)

    12 clams

    12 mussels

    8 medium prawns, peeled if desired

    2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley

    Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet or large pot over moderately high heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the fish and sear on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

    Add the fish stock and romesco and stir gently to blend.

    Add the clams, cover and adjust heat so that the mixture simmers gently. Cook until the clams begin to open and the fish is almost done, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the mussels and prawns. Cover and continue cooking until the mussels open and the prawns and fish are cooked, about 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    Divide among warmed bowls and garnish each serving with parsley.

    Serves 4

    Cesar's Romesco Sauce

    1/4 cup hazelnuts

    1/4 cup almonds

    2 dried ñora chiles, stemmed and seeded

    1/4 cup small hand-torn pieces day-old baguette

    1/3 cup piquillo peppers, seeds removed (see Note)

    1 small garlic clove

    1 1/4 teaspoons paprika (preferably Spanish)

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/2 teaspoon sugar

    6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

    1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar


    Preheat the oven to 350º. Roast the nuts separately until fragrant and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. When cool, rub the hazelnuts to remove as much of the papery skin as possible.

    Pulse the nuts together in a food processor until they are a mix of powder and coarse pieces. Set aside.

    Put the chiles in a small saucepan with water just to cover. Bring to a simmer, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Let cool in the liquid. When cool, remove the chiles and add the bread to soak up the chile water.

    Using a food processor, blend the chiles, piquillo peppers, bread (minus any extra chile water), garlic, paprika, cayenne and sugar until smooth.

    With the machine running, add the olive oil, lemon juice and vinegars.

    Transfer to a bowl and fold in the nuts. Season to taste with salt. If necessary, thin with any remaining chile water or some of the liquid from the piquillo pepper jar.

    Yields about 1 cup
  2. Mr. Peabody

    Mr. Peabody Founding Member

    Dec 8, 2003
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    Since you are checking out SF, find some restaurants for me to try out. I'm going there next Saturday for about 5 days.
  3. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Likes Received:
    here they are: the good and the overrated restaurants of san francisco from a native new yorker who moved there so you know you are getting the straight lowdown:

    Good and Overrated San Francisco Restaurants

    I'm a native New Yorker (Manhattanite),
    living in SF for about a year so
    far. I've also lived all over the world,
    including Europe and Asia.

    I love SF, but find that the restaurants
    are consistently overrated by local critics
    and the general public, at least compared to
    restaurants in New York, Paris, Rome, etc.

    Here's a partial list of places I think
    really are good, which are overrated, and
    which are just not good.

    The Good:

    2223 Market - excellent California nouvelle

    Ankor Wat - excellent and somewhat authentic

    Bizou - fine and reasonably priced french
    bistro, down the block from Fringale and not

    Blue Elephant - Very cheap for dinner, good
    quality, authentic sauces, nice, clean modern
    space. For some reason, however, the service
    is exceedingly slow.

    Bruno's - often exquisite nouvelle
    california, almost too many ingredients at
    times, expensive

    Cha Cha Cha's - nice tapa-ish finger foods.
    Not really Spanish, but tasty. Quite rich,

    Chez Panise - lives up to its reputation

    Eric's Chinese Restaurant - everything's
    tasty in this low-priced Noe Valley eatery,
    but it all somehow tastes the same.

    French Laundry - very expensive nouvelle
    French in Napa. Worth it, but not completely

    Rose Pistola - fine seafood, very reasonably
    priced northern Italian-ish cooking

    Straits Cafe - beautifully done, and
    reasonably authentic S

    Manora Thai - fine Thai cooking with usually
    very fresh ingredients

    Mecca - Another California/Frenchish nouvelle
    place. Fairly expensive and quite good.


    The Overrated:

    Betelnut - the owners seem to think that,
    like the bitter betelnut itself, true Asian
    cuisine is just a bit too strange for us
    westerners. The food is tasty enough, though
    nothing special, but much of it it isn't
    really that authentic.

    Cafe Marimba - hailed as nouvelle Mexican,
    this is a truly mediocre restaurant with
    ingredients which are sometimes of poor

    Firefly - the excellent reviews this
    French-inspired Noe Valley bistro has
    received are thoroughly undeserved.
    Mediocrity reigns.

    Moxie - The concept is fun: Eastern European
    inspired fine cuisine. But the execution is
    not inspired. It's fine, so far as it goes,
    but that just isn't very far. That said, it's
    far better than Eos.

    L'Osteria Del Forno - some good plates are
    available from the very limited menu at this
    tiny north beach Italian, but though they're
    reasonably priced, the plates are small. Get
    at least three for two people.

    Savour - Natural-foods-y place with
    pretentions. Again, only mediocre. And twice
    I found bugs in the (admittedly organic)

    Slanted Door - Inexpensive for lunch, medium
    priced for dinner. Vietnamese better than
    average, but not by any means amazing. Their
    reputation far exceeds their quality, which
    is nonetheless acceptable.

    Slow Club - Acceptable quality food,
    sometimes with too many ingredients. But it
    just isn't wonderful.

    Ti Couz - this creperie has is good so far as
    it goes, but the crepes never reach the level
    of sublime. The seafood salad is the best
    bargain on the menu, but again is merely
    good, not excellent.

    Tu Lan - very cheap, in a dangerous
    neighborhood. Not worth the risk and effort.
    Sauces are fine, but ingredients are, as one
    might expect, of low (cheap) quality.

    Woodward's Garden - Again, a mediocre bistro.
    Quite acceptable food, but there's much
    better to be had at the same prices.

    Zuni Cafe - the food's fine here, but it's
    really not amazing. Expect a pleasant meal,
    but nothing particularly memorable.


    The Not Good:

    Eos - highly overrated Asian-nouvelle style.
    Is neither good Asian nor good nouvelle.
    Excellent wine selection, but the food is
    entirely mediocre.

    House of Nanking - was good a few years ago.
    Now it's greasy and uninspired. They pack 'em
    in though. Go to Chef Jia's next door for
    much better food without the crowds.

    LuLu - over salty, over greasy, uninspired

    Thep Phanom - this top-rated Thai is living
    on its laurels. They use canned vegetables
    which are not even rinsed in fresh water.
    Sauces are fine, but the ingredients are of
    poor quality.

    Universal Cafe - While the food is not bad
    here, it also isn't great. And the staff is
    more tense than any I've seen in San
    Francisco. This has been the case on four
    visits (all except the first with friends who
    just had to try it), and ruins the fun.
  4. Mr. Peabody

    Mr. Peabody Founding Member

    Dec 8, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the info.

    I ate at Scomas the last time I was there. It's a seafood place on a pier at Fishermans Wharf. On the plane ride, I overheard some of the flight attendants raving about how good it was.
  5. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Likes Received:
    here are the 10 best value restaurants in san fran.......may want to cross-reference them on the other list to see if it's consistent:

    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    2030 Union St, San Francisco 94123-4121 • 415-929-8855

    Description: COW HOLLOW. One of the Bay Area's best values is this Cow Hollow classic. Boasting a trendy Pan-Asian (or, Pacific Rim) menu and sleek, vintage Chinese décor, Betelnut is great for celebrating big events, business deals, or just enjoying long meals. Specialties include tasty appetizers like chile-encrusted calamari and wok-roasted clams and innovative entrées like spicy coconut chicken and tea-soaked duck. Reservations suggested.

    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    2351 Mission St, San Francisco 94110 • 415-282-1813

    Description: MISSION DISTRICT. Charanga adds a Latin twist to San Francisco's melting pot of restaurants. Reasonably priced dishes are a great find and include patatas à la brava (fried potatoes with tomato dipping sauce) and grilled pork chops with potatoes and green beans (which gain kick with a passion-fruit jerk sauce). In fact, many dishes pair meats, seafood, and rustic bases with a sweet-tinged accompaniment, creating a terrific combination of flavors. The small space can be configured for large or small groups.

    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    3621 18th St, San Francisco 94110 • 415-552-4055

    Description: MISSION DISTRICT. This small, popular restaurant offers Italian dishes that revel in simplicity and in the best ingredients of the season. The incomparable food has earned plenty of lifelong fans, who can't say enough about grilled calamari salad, braised rabbit with pine nuts and olives, and salmon with fresh vegetables. You'll also find steak, roasted chicken, and incredible desserts to engage the palate. Service is friendly and prices are affordable, both boons to food aficionados. Reservations recommended. Casual dress.

    Kabuto Sushi
    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    5116 Geary St, San Francisco 94121 • 415-752-5652

    Description: RICHMOND DISTRICT. This spirited Japanese sushi bar thrives on the quality of its fish and the variety offered to customers. Affordable maki, nigiri, and sashimi are beautifully prepared and presented, as much a visual delight as a gustatory one. Guests are also encouraged to try nasu dengaku, a delicious baked eggplant. With more than 90 sushi selections on the menu, it's easy to find a wealth of appetizing options. Full dinners are available in an adjacent space.

    L'Osteria Del Forno
    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    519 Columbia Ave, San Francisco 94133 • 415-982-1124

    Description: NORTH BEACH. This comfortable café serves authentic Italian favorites guaranteed to please. With only eight tables, the restaurant is able to provide genuine attention to patrons, who love the frequently changing menu of fresh pizzas, pastas, and focaccia sandwiches – all baked in a single oven! A small wine list is available, and prices are extremely reasonable. Reservations are not accepted; nor are credit cards – cash only. Business casual attire.

    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    816 Folsom St, San Francisco 94107-1123 • 415-495-5775

    Description: SOMA. There's always something going on at this animated South of Market eatery, where authentic Mediterranean cuisine tempts the appetites of well-to-do patrons, downtown business folks, and knowing tourists. The busy dining area, once a warehouse, boasts skylights, high ceilings, and an open kitchen. House specialties include scrumptious seafood (mussels, particularly, are quite tasty), pastas, pizzas, veal, and lamb. Reservations strongly suggested.

    Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store
    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    566 Columbus Ave, San Francisco 94133-2802 • 415-362-0536

    Description: NORTH BEACH. Character-laden Mario's is a cool little Italian sandwich shop that offers terrific focaccia sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. They also boast "pot dishes," which are somewhat like casseroles, packed with veal and chicken cannelloni or polenta and Italian sausage. Sandwiches feature eggplant, meatballs, turkey, and even baked eggs laced with onions, zucchini, and Swiss cheese. Gourmet pastries and coffees are also available. Best of all, you'll probably only be out around $10. Cash only.

    Mo's Gourmet Burgers
    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    772 Folsom St Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco 94107 • 415-957-3779

    Description: SOMA. What began solely as a North Beach eatery is now available downtown. Outside tables make a great perch when it's warm; otherwise, enjoy the action inside and try to spot your burger cooking on the grill. Known for serving some of the best burgers in the area, Mo's selection includes "Tex Mex" (with jalapenos and onions), "Belly Buster" (with mushrooms, onions, and cheddar), and "California" (with avocado and jack cheese). Vegetarians can try the "Yerba Beuna Garden Burger" or "Grant Avenue Sandwich" (mushrooms and avocado).

    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    40 Beldon Pl, San Francisco 94109 • 415-986-6491

    Description: FINANCIAL DISTRICT. Plouf offers European bistro atmosphere and excellent service, making it particularly desirable with locals. Mussels, prepared a variety of ways, are a signature, and menus change daily depending on what's available at the market. Plouf's name translates from the French as “splash,” and the place is sure to make one with diners. Additional perks include oyster bars, bargain dishes, and an outdoor, Parisian-like setting. Reservations recommended. Casual dress.

    Tú Lan
    (Restaurants - Best Value)
    8 6th St, San Francisco 94103-1602 • 415-626-0927

    Description: SOMA. If you're in the Bay Area and looking for a restaurant not listed in standard tour books, try Tú Lan. Located in a less-developed neighborhood, it's not really a desination for scenery or decor. Still, the storefront eatery is flooded by crowds of lunch regulars, who relish daily offerings of lemon beef, sauteed vegetables, spring rolls, and tofu salad. Best of all, you can usually eat at Tú Lan for under $10. Cash only. Reservations not accepted.

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