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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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February 21-28, 2011


go to next week's blogs


  Monday, February 28, 2011

Poggio's salami pizza ($15.00):

... is a flamed flavor frisbee mosaiced with mozzarella, scorched salami, artichoke bits, and ribs of rosemary. This blistered beauty is a favorite flatbread due to the charrific 'cuterie fat melting into the crisp, dough disc with richness from cheese and a bit of olive oil.


Poggio Trattoria
777 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA



  Sunday, February 27, 2011

We needed a caffeine stop after running around Upper Playground and headed down the block to Cafe du Soleil:

... for a couple muffins and some joe:

This sunny corner pocket was populated with cyber squatters:

... and lunchers lingering at the outdoor and communal seating - a fine and friendly pit stop parlor with some solid snackage.

Cafe du Soleil
200 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA



  Saturday, February 26, 2011

We settled into our booth at Alexander's Steakhouse with glasses of Gosset Champagne, but rather than digging into one of their marbled, meaty, mains, we went vegetarian.

Chef Jeffrey Stout recently sweetened the deal at his protein palace with the addition of a dessert tasting menu. This provided the perfect excuse to heed the 'nistic call of a six course progression ($50, $85 with wine pairings) of petit forays of adventurous afters.

Little libations of a passionfruit kumquat potion and an apple shiso mojito with wasabi foam:

... were tantalizing tonics that primed our palates for milk and cookies:

...Chocolate macarons marooned on a beach of chocolate cookie crumbs were washed down with Straus Creamery milk with waves of Banfi Regale offering a strawberry sparkle.

Kaffir lime creme brulee was boosted by a honied Chateau Doisy-Vedrines Sauternes (which echoed this citrus in the snowball of a grapefruit granita.):

Sables buttoned up this custard course before the "winter solstice":

Citrus cheesecake ice cream rested over a sheet of blood orange gelee dotted with kumquat coins, grapes and yuzu curd. Cardamom graham cracker crumbs added crunch gilded by the gorgeous grapefruit of an accompanying 2007 Andre Andrieux Beaumes de Venise:

Warm little black currant financiers were Hello Kitty-sized, nutty cakes nudging a silken, lavender panna cotta:

These sat in a snowscape of vanilla powder punctuated with pistachios and a caramel-coerced 1993 Patjos Tokaji.

Marvelous miso ice cream mingled with pinenut powder, apple compote, caramel and a swirl of sesame glass:

... This slightly saline, refreshing, chilly chapter was levitated with the lovely, lycheed liquid of a Domaine Weinbach Gewurtztraminer.

Gianduja ganache enriched a chocolate cake with candied hazelnuts and hazelnut powder:

... nuanced by the nuttiness of a 10 year old Boal Madeira. A window of sugar glass and a scoop of stout beer ice cream gave crunch and creaminess to this dark demonstration of Pastry Chef Dan Huynh's:

... deft hand with dessert. His beautifully presented combos of flavors, textures and temperatures were set off by Sommelier Johnny Slamon's selections.

After our sucrose supper, we did remember to floss....with candy.

A middle-aged lady head of blue cotton candy spun us to the gluclosure of this sinful supper. It felt like an idealized memory of a kid's birthday party morphed into a grown up context.

Alexander's Steakhouse

448 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA




  Friday, February 25, 2011

Oily calamari ($11.59):

.. at the bar at Il Fornaio was offset by an accommodating barman who kindly made me an off the menu cocktail.

Chubby got a rum-based beverage which was okay (but a little warm). We noshed on the slim sticks of bread to reduce the traction of the rubber rings of squid.

Aside from the friendly service, our il-timed Fornaio foray won't have us rushing back soon.

Il Fornaio
223 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA



  Thursday, February 24, 2011

We happened upon Happy Hour (4-7 p.m. daily) at Brick & Bottle and took advantage of the retro rates for early eats.

Mushroom pizza ($6.50):

... was a blistered mozzarella and parmesan capped crust at half the pie-rice of the flatbreads after happy hour.

Salt cod fritters ($5.00):

... rolled in as golf balls of brandade fried to a crunchy-crusted, mash-middled morsels. Aioli and Romesco were offered as saucing agents and rocket provided a herby lift.

We also split a (normal priced) pimento cheeseburger ($12.00):

... with cabbage slaw, chili, pimento cheese and some of their fab fries which are mandatory munching (not matter what the hour.)

Brick & Bottle Restaurant
55 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA




Mark your Calendar

Whiskies of the World Expo is back for its dozenth dram-atic San Francisco soiree on March 26th. This year they are adding a splash of water - the SF Belle Hornblower Yacht will be the site of this spirited event.

Check out our distillation of last year's fun here.

The 12th Annual Whiskies of the World Expo
March 26, 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
tickets $110-$135
SF Belle Hornblower Yacht
Pier 3 Embarcadero @ Washington St.
21+ only





  Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Contempt of Food Court

The jury's out on whether lunch at the courthouse was cruel, but it was certainly unusual in the unwarranted perperation of chow.

I was served with a Cobb salad with a gag order placed on the roughed up chicken. This jailbird was pulverized into an unidentifiable paste.

In the salad's defense, the egg and green slices of abogado were judiciously prepared and I did voluntarily take receivership of this Civic Center sustenance.

My juror fee went towards funding my own lunchtime trial within this Frank Lloyd Wright con-struction.





  Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our favorite muscle car maneuvered to our table at Poggio:

... to fuel us up on oxtail, veal breast, brisket, beef tongue and house made cotechino. This Italian bollito carello gets tuned up once a year for an annual tour of bollito misto ($19.00):

Guests specify which protein portions they would like, (but it wouldn't fully achieve true "misto" status without a little of each.) These meaty bits are bathed in turnip broth and served with the sensational saucing agents of creme fraiche kicked with horseradish, a garlicy bagnetto verde, a terrific tonnato (that went swimmingly with the veal) and a luscious bread, pepper and marrow peara sauce.

The marvy mostarda di frutta with pears and citrus was quat traditionally kums with this boiled bounty to add a zing to this seasonal sensation (which is served on Monday -Wednesday nights winding down with winter.)

House Tempranillo tastily tamped down this mobile meat melange (which is well worth savoring before the carello springs back into storage.)

Poggio Trattoria

777 Bridgeway
Sausalito CA



  Monday, February 21, 2011

Alice Medrich always comes up with the goods so it's no surprise that her latest Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy cookbook is a sine qua non of sinful gnawin'.

We made a batch of her bars to produce some unprecedented Presidents' Day cookies. These reached their POTUS-tential with dried cranberries and candied ginger:

We will elect to bake another batch of these soon.


Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares

Makes thirty-two 2 1/2-inch square cookies


1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest or ground cinnamon or anise
1 cup moist dried fruit (one kind or a combination): dark or golden raisins; dried sour cherries; dried cranberries; coarsely chopped dates, dried apricots, or prunes; finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) turbinado or other coarse sugar


Cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper or greased



Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

With a large spoon in a medium mixing bowl or with a mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until smooth and well blended but not fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and form each into a rectangle. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes to soften slightly. On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll one piece of dough into a rectangle 8 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches. With a short side facing you, scatter half of the dried fruit on the bottom half of the dough. Fold the top half of the dough over the fruit, using the paper as a handle. Peel the paper from the top of the dough. (If it sticks, chill the dough for a few minutes until the paper peels easily.) Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Flip the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and peel off the remaining paper. Sprinkle with half of the coarse sugar and pat lightly to makes sure the sugar adheres. Use a heavy knife to trim the edges. Cut into 4 strips and then cut each strip into 4 pieces to make 16 squares.

Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the lined or greased pans. Repeat with the remaining dough, fruit, and sugar.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks.

Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for a week.


Excerpted with permission from
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
Alice Medrich
Artisan 2010










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