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Cheese Underground: Rush Creek Reserve Production Stopped By FDA Rule Uncertainty

How sad. The priorities of the FDA are mind boggling. They don't seem to comprehend the science of cheesemaking and how it's a fermentation. It can never be a sterile process. Good bacteria in the cheese outcompete bad bacteria. Why can't they let people make the choice of whether they are willing to take the infentisimal risk of food poisoning from raw cheese. There is no epidemic of food poisoning from raw milk cheese. There is an epidemic of obesity from fast food industries and over processed food. Why is the FDA obsessed with one and not the other?

1 day ago
Ridge in Cheese

In need of cheese 101

I agree with the suggestions of finding a cheese shop that allows you to taste the cheeses. I suggest that when you taste cheese really focus and take in the flavors and textures. Many cheeses have complex layers of unusual flavors and textures that can overwhelm taste buds not used to them. Try to give unusual flavors a chance before rejecting them. Also many stinky cheeses don't taste stinky. When you taste a cheese what does it remind you of? Grass? Hay? Butter? Earth? mushrooms? Meat? Velvet?

I agree with Don's suggestion of Euphoria, it's a very easy to like cheese. Also St. Agur blue cheese. If you really want to dive in try some washed rind cheese like Eppoisse. It' can be like liquid velvet buttery umami deliciousness. Don't be scared of by the pungent aroma.

1 day ago
Ridge in Cheese

Sichuan Peppercorns & Chili Bean Paste in East Bay? SF?

We have reservations for 7:30 Friday. I will wear a Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Michael Warring- on I-80 corridor in Vallejo

They only do set menu. It is pricier than most restaurants in Vallejo. Although Vallejo has a reputation as a very blue collar place you get a wide range of people who live in the vicinity and a good number of people who appreciate this type of place once in a while.

Aug 17, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Sichuan Peppercorns & Chili Bean Paste in East Bay? SF?

I can give you some Sischuan peppercorns. A Chinese friends husband travels regularly to China for business and she gave me some good quality green and red peppercorns. I think I will be eating at Ajanta next Friday at 7:30 so if you can meet me there I will give you some free of charge.

Aug 17, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Unlocking France's Secrets To Safer Raw Milk Cheese

I've been reading about cheese-making and its fascinating. I'd love to read the French manual they are talking about.

Aug 15, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Michael Warring- on I-80 corridor in Vallejo

The Spectator piece overstates how long it takes to get there from Downtown Napa or Berkeley. Its more like 1/2 hour from Berkeley and 20 minutes from downtown Napa.

Aug 15, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Michael Warring- on I-80 corridor in Vallejo

Interesting article on MW from the Wine spectator blog:

http://www.winespectator.com/blogs/sh...

Aug 15, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Help a pressed for time NY Hound find the Asian food of her dreams?

Z&Y, a place I would recommend to the OP, has these beef rolls that are to die for.

My fiance's first trip to SF...Bar Tartine, Aziza, Fable or Baker & Banker??

I recently ate at Bar Tartine and LOVED it. Here is my post about it:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984890

Aug 12, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Interesting eats along I-80 between SF and Auburn?

Aug 09, 2014
Ridge in California

Michael Warring- on I-80 corridor in Vallejo

Friday night we went to dinner at Michael Warring. This little gem of restaurant is nestled just off of the I-80 corridor in north-eastern Vallejo (the American Canyon road exit). It's a convenient stop for those traveling between the Bay Area and Sacramento or Lake Tahoe. Probably best to make reservations.

Seasonal well sourced ingredients, judicious use of molecular gastronomy techniques and French. Japanese and Scandinavian influenced California cuisine. The set tasting menu is updated weekly. On Friday it was $69 per person, a bargain given the high quality of the cuisine.

Here is what we ate on Friday;

new girl tomatoes
sabayon, peach espuma, arugula, cucumber gel

This was refreshing and tasted like summer. The peachy espuma and creaminess of the sabayon perfectly matched and enhanced the fresh sweet tomatoes.

tsukiji market fish box
angostura bitters, anise hyssop, german celery, apple air

A perfectly pan seared and crispy piece of impeccably fresh mackerel. Outstanding.

capellini
black truffle, chanterelles, bronze fennel, star anise jus

Delicious. The star anise and fennel flavors perfectly complemented the succulent earthy mushrooms and perfectly prepared pasta. Excellent.

cryo-fried saddle of lamb
popcorn, darjeeling tea, coffee & cardamom soil

The lamb was sous vide, flash frozen in liquid nitrogen and then deep fried for crispiness. Excellent.

cheese cart
Three cheeses. Spanish goat (outstanding), Italian sheep (good) and Texas cow with coffee rind (meh).

churro
nitro anglaise, cinnamon sugar, salted caramel

A dish of contrasts- hot and cold, sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy. Excellent.

Aug 09, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

June 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM

Good reviews, some I agree with some not. I too am picky about Greek food. Have you been to Kokkari yet? It's great for a special occasion, I have been meaning to go back since I haven't been back in over a year.

Aug 07, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine review [San Francisco]

You could try again, I have a feeling if you ate the same things we ate Saturday you would have enjoyed it more. That being said, the table next to us was clearly not into the food so perhaps this style of cuisine is not for everyone.

Ran Kanom Thai Noodle - San Pablo

It's worth the trip.

Aug 06, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Bar Tartine review [San Francisco]

Saturday night we went to Bar Tartine for our anniversary dinner. I really enjoyed it and found the cuisine more interesting and compelling than other similar SF restaurants. The setting is nice and I liked the decor and ambiance of the restaurant. The service was efficient but could perhaps use a little more warmth. The cuisine was rustic bold cal-med fusion but fusing different cuisines than usual in innovative and fresh ways. The night we went we got hints of Scandanavian, Greek, Italian and Japanese cuisine in some of the dishes. The food is flavorful and fresh herbs like mint and tarragon accentuate spices like cumin and coriander. Almost every dish worked for me. The table next to us, a 20 something techie and his visiting parents were befuddled by the cuisine.

We got the friends and family set course menu with beverage pairing. This menu is on the opposite side of the main menu which is affixed to a small board. It's extremely easy to not see the tasting menu the way the menu is presented and the table next to us were disappointed that they didn't see it and only found out after they ordered because that's what we got.

We didn't think the beverage pairing worked as well as it could have. In particular I was not a fan of the sparkling wine and both of us did not care for the overly microbial tasting fermented cider.

The savory courses were all excellent. Here are some of the highlights:

Cured salmon with oyster mushrooms and ramps- supple salmon served in a delicious dashi like broth. Excellent.

Tomatoes with salmatto sauce. A beautifully constructed salad served on top of a thick sauce made of tomato and salmon mashed up together. Excellent

Sprouted lentil croquettes with kafir and coriander. Added up to more than the sum of its parts.

Poached chicken with peppers and skordalia. Again a dish that added up to more than the sum of its parts. Excellent.

Smoked potatoes with black garlic. Excellent, the smokiness was on the verge of being a tad too intense but wasn't.

Kale with tahini sauce. Excellent.

Beef tartare flatbread. We were surprised how much the beef tasted like it could have been tuna. I am generally not the biggest fan of beef tartare but really enjoyed it.

The only miss of the evening for me was one of the desserts a cheese dumpling with blackberry sauce. I am not at all a fan of overly sweet desserts but this dessert was too extreme in the opposite direction. The whole thing was tart and kind of one dimensional. A touch more sweetness would have moderated the tartness and would have greatly improved the dessert.

Aug 05, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting for a week from L.A.

You mention Tartine bakery but have you tried Bar Tartine? We went last night and LOVED it. Very unique influences: Scandinavian, Greek, Japanese mingle in vibrant food where use of fresh herbs like mint and tarragon mingle and play off of spices like coriander and cumin. Not for everyone for sure- the table next to us was befuddled by the food, but except for one dish I thought the food was unique and vibrant.

Aug 03, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting for a week from L.A.

I've tried lots of Bay Area dim sum. Koi palace is the only Bay Area dim sum place I have tried that makes dim sum on the same level as dim sum I have had in Taiwan and Hong Kong. It's consistently good for dim sum and not overly MSG laden. I was just theta last weekend. It was fabulous. The XLB are delicate and addicting. I highly recommend it! I am not a fan of yank sing.

Another recommendation is Dosa for Indian food, Kokkari for well executed rustic Greek food and lately I can't get enough if the food at Terra Cotta warrior.

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Society tends to want people in the spotlight to behave a certain way and it's often inexplicable. I think she is awesome, certainly more so that all the celebrity chefs on TV that people idolize.

Jul 30, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (Aug 2014) - Nominations/Voting

I would say any salad where fresh tomatoes are the star. We could even include things like Panzanella.

Jul 28, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

There are few restaurants where everything you put in your mouth is awesome, my one meal at French laundry was the closest I have experienced. At CP downstairs the menu is different every night so there may be some nights with more hits than others. Personally I have grown tired of food that is overly fussy and punched up. I like intensity in food, but also simplicity and rusticity. The thing about CP is that when the food is "on" the food is awesome without being overly punched up. And again speaking personally it's more affordable than someplace like Saison which I haven't tried yet because it's a fortune.

Jul 28, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month (Aug 2014) - Nominations/Voting

GREEK TOMATO SALAD AND VARIATIONS

Quality and balance of ingredients can elevate a summer tomato salad into something greater than the some of its parts. A salad that showcases fresh ripe tomatoes captures the essence of summer. There are lots of variations on this theme ranging from the classic Greek salad to tomato salads with goat cheese or burrata.

The nice thing about choosing this as the DOTM is that people can discuss salads they sample at restaurants as well as ones they make themselves using fresh Northern California tomatoes.

Jul 28, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

Cheese for the new guy

I like Oloroso sherry with cheese and at most quince paste or a good fig jam but i almost allays eat cheese plain or with some fresh bread or toasted baguette.

Jul 23, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Cheese for the new guy

St. Agur is an easy to like, reliable and relatively easy to find blue cheese. I recommend eating some plain and also spreading some on a fresh baguette.

Jul 23, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

to chez panisse or to not chez panisse, that is the question

Alice is neither arrogant nor condescending. Her crime is not being slick, hip, eloquent and telegenic enough for people to digest. Leave the woman alone already.

Restaurant Pet Peeves

Recently was at a dinner with a largish group on the east coast. This was an overhyped glitzy Italian restaurant owned by a well known (in the DC area) restauranteur. Food ranged from good to mediocre. Service was abysmal. Apparently there was a minimum per person amount we were supposed to spend. We actually ordered what seemed like a ton of food (everyone had apps, main and dessert) and ordered two bottles of wine. Apparently we still were under this price and at the end of the dinner the waiter informed one of us that we had to order a bottle of champagne to make sure we were over the minimum. It would have been nicer if he told us this earlier in the meal so we could have ordered some more food.

Jul 19, 2014
Ridge in Not About Food

July COTM wood board aged cheeses

Excellent question! Two things:

People seem to be more engaged on online forums when arguing about things. Gets people's adrenaline going.

I don't know about other folks but what I expected to be a leisurely summer has become packed with stuff like visiting relatives and nightmarish expensive home repairs. I haven't really had time to shop or taste cheese except for some Eppoisse on the 4th.

But I will make an effort to taste and report back in the next couple of weeks.

Jul 09, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

Edible Bugs?

The chef/owner of Ran Kanom And Ran Kanom Thai noodles used to make a spicy chili condiment with water bugs. It's called Mangda. The water bugs have an intense floral aroma. It was very interesting. I think she stopped making it because not enough people were adventurous enough to try it. Maybe if you ask her she can make you some.

Jul 08, 2014
Ridge in San Francisco Bay Area

July COTM wood board aged cheeses

I have been looking for but can't find a definitive list of wood board aged cheeses. The majority of gourmet cheeses that are not fresh or mass produced is the quick answer. I am still digging for information and will post additional information as I find it.

Jul 01, 2014
Ridge in Cheese

US FDA Rules No Wooden Boards in Cheese Aging

There was lots of good and sometimes heated discussion in this thread and I now encourage everyone who participated in the discussion, no matter what side you were on, to participate in July's Cheese of the month (COTM). This month the featured cheeses are cheeses aged on wooden boards. It will be fun for us all to taste these cheeses together. This month the featured cheeses are cheeses aged on wooden boards. The way it works is that people taste a cheese and then describe it in as much detail as you have the energy to. Where did you get the cheese? How much did it cost? What does it taste like (flavor, mouthfeel)? Do you like it? Why? Would you recommend it? Would you buy it again? You can look at past COTMs here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967306

Here is a link to this months COTM:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/980970

Jun 30, 2014
Ridge in Cheese