Monday, September 1, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Duck Egg

Duck egg. raviolo. chanterelle. ricotta. This is an off-menu dish (thanks Ben!) and is intended to be a play on ramen. It’s rich and perfectly seasoned. The pasta is (of course) al dente. It’s in a pork stock which is not too light, not too rich. The duck egg brings a unique fat to the plate. I’m looking forward to seeing this dish on the menu: A+.

Friday, August 29, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes. spiced pistachios. orange. basil. This is complex. There’s sweetness from the fruit and a bit of spice/heat from the pistachios in the form of a puree or humus. The orange is very clever because it’s so obvious and simple but it is dead on. The textures, the mouthfeel, heat, crunch, sweet, salt. It’s all there. Complex.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Lollipop Kale

Lollipop Kale. guanciale. red currant. ginger. I had this two weeks ago and this is even better. This time, there’s more acid, less fat, and lighter. There’s heat from the ginger. Very nice.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Burrata

Burrata. grilled bread. garbanzo beans. apricots. walnuts. Stellar. Fantastic balance of sugar, salt (which is just under the radar), fat, heat, acid. Tomatoes (Green Zebra variety), onion jam, pea shoots. Killin’ it!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Shashito Peppers

Shishito Peppers. castelvetrano olive. hazel nut. smoked sea salt. Nice. Not the usual level of heat from a Shishito pepper.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Munich, Restaurant Broeding

L, A, and I had a great meal at Broeding in Munich.

Schulstraße 9, 80634 München, Germany

Overall: A+. This is not a flashy Michelin star restaurant, and that’s ok because we weren’t in the mood for one anyway. Instead we had solid, solid food (we loved every course which is unusual for us) in a downright nice setting. Those are the makings of a very memorable meal.

Food: A. We had the standard 6 course pre-fixe tasting menu which is changed frequently and based on seasonal ingredients.

Marinated veal tongue with braised chicory and salad. You generally expect tongue to be pretty rich, but this was nicely marinated, thinly sliced, and a fairly light early course, perhaps even lighter than a standard charcuterie. The greens were dressed nicely and enhanced the dish with a touch of bitterness.

Cappuccino from beetroot. Served in a small cappuccino cup with a horseradish foam, this was clever and well executed. The foam on the top ensured that you had the right proportion of horseradish to beet in every sip. Very nice. Soothing.

Codfish with artichokes and red Mojo. The Mojo was a red pepper sauce. the codfish was cooked perfectly, warm, moist, nice seasoning and the artichokes were firm and nicely flavored. The mojo, of course, brought the sweetness to each mouthful.

Farmer chicken, pumpkin puree and chanterelles. The dark meat was prepared like fried chicken with the skin still on it and apparently fried. The white meat, always difficult to cook without drying, was moist and seasoned. The pumpkin puree had an orange juice reduction which brought acid, and combined with the chicken, chanterelles, and leaks, it was a great mouthful.

Cheese. This was a raw cow milk alpine cheese produced by Thomas Breckle. I had expected this to be like a Gruyere or Comte, but it was more like a cheddar. This was an exceptional piece of cheese.

Yogurt mousse with stewed plums and apricots. This was a very nice dessert with a little bit of thin chocolate on the top. A nice way to end the meal.

Wine: A+. The wine list is focused on Austrian, Swiss, and German wines, and sommelier Andreas Rohrich knows it inside and out. I know very little about Austrian wines, but certainly liked what he served us tonight (including the non-Austrian ones like the 2011 Majoros “Deak” Fumint Tokaji). It was a great experience and gave us a tour de force through the region. I have to say that I liked pretty much everything he served us with the highlights being the Riesling Brut Methode rurale Winery Bader Rhinehessen (a sparkling riesling served as an aperitif) and the 2008 baeder Fruhburgunder.

Service: A+. Herr Rohrich and his team did a great job of being casual, yet precise. L and I were very pleased that the restaurant chooses to serve Munich tap water rather than the extremely expensive bottled water that is forced on you in most other restaurants. The joke in Munich is that the beer and wine are cheaper than the water (it’s actually true).  Herr Rohrich explained that he would rather people be able to drink a lot of water (so they don’t become dehydrated while drinking wine) then to wake up feeling bad the next morning. That, and the fact, that bottled water is wasteful, make for a sound policy on the part of the restaurant.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Caviar

Caviar. Hokkaido scallop tartare. uni. chive. The scallops and uni combine for a huge mouthfeel. What a mouthful!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Lobster Ceviche

Lobster Ceviche. caramelized coconut, pineapple, kaffir lime. This is one of my favorite dishes on the menu. Let’s face it: lobster is an overhyped product. It’s often not all that good and can leave you wanting just a simple, really fresh boiled lobster instead. But this dish elevates the simple, almost mundane lobster to something really special. By using the sweetness of the coconut, umm… extra sweet caramelized coconut… with the lesser sweetness of the lobster, and the acid of the pineapple and lime, Chef Ben Stephens makes the lobster something worth ordering again. A most-excellent dish.

San Francisco, 1760

I was turned on to 1760 by a sommelier at a certain Nob Hill restaurant. San Francisco is like that — people in the business don’t seem to mind recommending competitors since it’s all about making the customer happy, even if it means their $’s go somewhere else. Since then, I’ve had several great meals at the bar. Led by owner/sommelier Gianpaolo Paterlini (formerly of Acquerllo), Chefs Ben Stephens and Matt Hanley, and Pastry Chef Ricardo Menicucci (also of Acquerello) this team is really putting out great meals.

I have made the bold prediction that 1760 is San Francisco’s next Michelin Star. Word. The food is as good or better than any one star in SF, especially my favorite one-star whipping boy, Boulevard.

Food. I love the food. I love that the dishes are works-in-progress and that they change from week to week, sometimes slightly, sometimes more noticeably. I love that they’ll try out new, off-menu, dishes on me. Stephens, Hanley, and Menicucci know how to cook. Does every dish work all the time? Nope, but I’d have to say that 95% or more of them are interesting and exciting. And they are happy to take feedback. A+.

Wine. I love the wine list. No, it’s not 800 bottles long. Who cares. It’s approachable at lots of levels. Paterlini works hard to make his cellar dynamic. There are new bottles every week. But better than the fluid (pardon the pun) aspect, the prices are phenomenal. I have seen prices for 1er Cru Burgundy which are lower than what I pay retail. Paterlini does not believe in the standard 2-2.5x markup. I’ve never had a bad recommendation. A special shout-out to their half bottle Champagne list. Did I already say it was approachable? A+ again.

Service: A+. Paterlini keeps a watchful eye on everything making sure it all goes well for the guests. I’ve never had a bad experience there. Guys like Kyle behind the bar work hard and understand the business.

So it only seems appropriate that I spend the next 3 4+ weeks on a series of 1760 dishes that I’ve enjoyed.

Thanks to everyone at 1760 for some really memorable meals.

Friday, August 15, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 5

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step Five: Reduce Waste

An estimated 25 percent of the world’s food calories and up to 50 percent of total food weight are lost or wasted before they can be consumed. In rich countries most of that waste occurs in homes, restaurants, or supermarkets. In poor countries food is often lost between the farmer and the market, due to unreliable storage and transportation. Consumers in the developed world could reduce waste by taking such simple steps as serving smaller portions, eating leftovers, and encouraging cafeterias, restaurants, and supermarkets to develop waste-reducing measures. Of all of the options for boosting food availability, tackling waste would be one of the most effective.