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Where can OctoberFeast breads and pastries be found?

The store on University Ave. in Berkeley is closed and the number for the San Francisco location has been disconnected. Are they still selling at farmers markets and, if so, which ones? They produced some excellent German-style breads, the only pretzel croissant I've ever seen (years ahead of the clumsily-named cronut) and a great apricot Danish.

Apr 03, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

best dimsum in oakland?

They have an extensive order form but also roaming carts. The order form is particularly useful if the wait is long (last Sunday around noon the wait was 45 minutes)--you can check off your selections while you distract yourself from growing hunger, then hand them to the server as soon as you're seated. The shrimp and chive dumplings, fried taro root balls and rice noodle rolls all very good; chicken feet and tofu skin rolls over sauced and messy. To my taste, the flavors are more pure and the execution more refined at Asian Pearl in the Ranch 99 mall in Richmond.

Apr 02, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Citrus bulletin

Sumo oranges, $3.39/lb at Berkeley Bowl (surely they'll come down in price?); Tom Wilson navel oranges $1.69/lb. at Andronico's.

Mar 17, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

If I could only keep the cookbooks of one author/chef/cook that author would be:

Marcella Hazan: the most rewarding pleasure-to-effort ratio on my overcrowded cookbook shelf. I'm enjoying Ottolenghi but will wait to see whether I'm still turning to those recipes in a year or two.

Mar 11, 2014
dordogne in Home Cooking

Incanto > Porcellino [San Francisco]

I was there on Sunday, having booked several weeks ago before word was out re Incanto Finito. Wall to wall diners, noisier even than usual, and we were told that they're completely booked through the closing but that seating at the bar may be available without a long wait if you show up when doors open. Quality was as high, menu as inventive and interesting, service as attentive as ever. Cosentino wrought yet another variation on lamb neck, this time with tatsoi rabe, polenta and horseradish gremolata; spaghettini with Sardinian cured tuna heart, egg yolk and parsley is lifted right off La Ciccia's menu but it was done perfectly; diners at the next table raved about the Supper for Two of roasted pork jowl with clams, serrano, escarole and Meyer lemon. Cosentino stayed out front for much of the evening, talking and posing for pictures with customers, many of whom have been enjoying his food for most of Incanto's twelve years. It seemed clear from our brief chat that the change in concept was not Cosentino's idea but that he's working hard on his own new project near the ballpark. You'll get updates about Porcellino if you're on the Incanto email list; for news of Cosentino's new venture, follow his Twitter feed.

Mar 11, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Tarting up an oversweet lemon curd?

I didn't taste as I went along and the lemon curd came out too sweet (perhaps because I used the amount of sugar specified in the recipe with Meyer lemons rather then Eureka, the latter of which is probably what was intended). Any suggestions about how to tart it up? I'm considering heating up some juice from a Eureka lemon, incorporating a small amount of the oversweet curd to blend, then slowly whisking in the rest of the curd, sort of like "tempering." But I'd hate to waste the prepared curd (even if oversweet) on a failed experiment.

Mar 03, 2014
dordogne in Home Cooking

Ruth's annual birthday dinner dilemma -- 2014 edition

Thanks for decibel and comfort level report. Not that I'd ever recommend going back to red velveteen tufted chairs and flocked wallpaper, but I'm hoping the hard-edged/hard-surfaced/stone floor look in restaurant decor passes soon.

Mar 03, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Ruth's annual birthday dinner dilemma -- 2014 edition

Another vote for Rivoli--the room, service, decibel level and consistently well-executed menu (but I don't know their desserts) would make for a pleasant dinner with parents, and no rude surprises. On the new-and-trendy end of the spectrum, perhaps Penrose (Charlie Hallowell's new place)? Given high ceiling and hard surfaces, best to request a table next to the wall.

Mar 03, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay source for dried mushrooms in quantity?

Berkeley Bowl has several varieties of dried mushroom (including porcini) in bulk; selection may vary between the two stories, so best to call ahead.

Feb 27, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area
1

patisseries in Bay Area (SF and East Bay) that sell caneles

If you're interested in serious canele scholarship:

http://chezpim.com/bake/canele-recipe...

Feb 21, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Bowl'd BBQ - Open in Oakland

Fried chicken is excellent and very generous portion for $14. I agree very crisp and juicy--even the light meat pieces--but the batter was a bit bland, needed salt/pepper or something to kick up the spicing, other than just adding sauce (they also have the fried chicken wings with sweet/spicy sauce from the Solano menu). Twelve panchan; the spicy ones (including their patented kim chee) were best. Basic verdict: the dishes that are not hot/spicy are underseasoned. Room is large with high ceilings and lots of hard surfaces--not very comfortable for conversation unless you're next to the front window or the side wall. Staff was friendly, efficient, attentive, just as at the Solano mother ship.

Feb 19, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

patisseries in Bay Area (SF and East Bay) that sell caneles

La Boulange (at least the one on Hayes) has them. Like most of their pastries, their Cannelés de Bordeaux look better than they taste.

Feb 17, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Smelt?

Which menus, please?

Feb 14, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Anyone had the cassoulet (or anything else) at SF's Cafe Bastille?

Oh my, I'm on my way to Cafe Bastille. Wonderful way to save the airfare to France if the herring dish even approaches the version at Chez Dumonet (I've never found anything close to Dumonet's duck confit in the Bay Area).

Jan 16, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

SodaStream

The best syrups I've found are by Torani (Italian recipes, made in San Francisco); quality is great and the variety of flavors (orgeat, tangerine, caramel, kiwi, pomegranate, etc. in addition to the usual suspects) wonderful. Less than $7 for 750 ml at my neighborhood Italian deli.

Jan 15, 2014
dordogne in Cookware

Anyone had the cassoulet (or anything else) at SF's Cafe Bastille?

If you're willing to take BART to Rockridge, Oliveto is featuring Liberty duck cassoulet with gigande and flageolet beans, this week only.

http://www.oliveto.com/ourcommunity/c...

Jan 15, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Jook - SF Dish of the Month December 2013

Thankyouthankyou!! You are the Jacques Pepin (La Technique) of jook. Until I had my first restaurant jook, all I'd ever had was the soothing but bland post-Thanksgiving turkey carcass, all-into-the-pot-at-once version. I will definitely try the make-ahead stock with duck bones/bony bits (several places on Stockton sell the roast duck heads by the pound) or roast pig head. But with all of the cartilage in the pig head, does the resulting jook also have a stiff texture? I miss Hing Lung and look forward to trying the suggestions in this thread, but will definitely venture into homejooking (sorry).

Jan 09, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Oh Please, Pretty Please, Din Tai Fung—PLEASE Come to SF!

Yes, I stand corrected (all those A----- burbs).

Jan 06, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Oh Please, Pretty Please, Din Tai Fung—PLEASE Come to SF!

Please reveal: where do you find consistent and consistently better XLB in the Bay Area, high end or otherwise? Love the "DOA" characterization, which is a problem with at least one dumpling out of every steamer basket at SDK.

Jan 06, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Oh Please, Pretty Please, Din Tai Fung—PLEASE Come to SF!

There are two DTFs in Alhambra (now the mecca for Chinese restaurants, grocers, etc.); the third just opened in the Americana mall in Glendale (see the Jonathan Gold article that I linked above).

Jan 06, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Oh Please, Pretty Please, Din Tai Fung—PLEASE Come to SF!

Another second for a SF outpost. DTF has just opened its third branch in Southern California--in a glitzy mall in Glendale. Here's a link to Jonathan Gold's discerning review in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-gol...

I've been to the Shanghai and Hong Kong outposts and was amazed at how much better the XLB were than anything I've had in San Francisco (including Shanghai Dumpling King, my current local favorite) and how consistent the quality was between the two kitchens. The Gold review is spot-on about the perfection of the wrappers--delicately thin with exquisite pleating but none of them leak or spurt on delivery from steamer basket to mouth.

Jan 06, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

La Nebbia from owners of La Ciccia (Noe Valley, SF)

Thanks for report; I've been looking for some hounds to check in. The speck pizza sounds spectacular, like something from Pizzaiolo as well as Cheeseboard Pizza.

Prices on the prosciuttos and the jamon seemed a bit high. Do quality/quantities merit?

Jan 02, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Jook - SF Dish of the Month December 2013

What a concept, after decades of my family's one-pot method. Would you kindly send along rough guidance for your pre-made stock for basic meat hook? And/or fish?

Jan 01, 2014
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas week in Sonoma, need restaurant and winery recs!

Merry Edwards in Sebastopol has an excellent, intimate tasting room, knowledgeable staff, very good pinot noirs.

http://www.merryedwards.com/

Dec 20, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Acai bowls in SF?

I haven't tried the bowls at Blue Hawaii; I usually opt for the more unhealthy choices in the area. But their online menu looks pretty good, though expensive (high rent neighborhood).

http://bluehawaiisf.com/on-the-menu/

Dec 04, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Acai bowls in SF?

Try Blue Hawaii Acai Cafe in 2 Embarcadero.

Dec 04, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Sichuan Chowdown @ China VIllage (Albany)

And thanks to Hyperbowler for bringing us together and to Melanie for her generous provision of three wines that went beautifully with the dishes.

Nov 27, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Sichuan Chowdown @ China VIllage (Albany)

This was a perfect chowdown thanks to excellent menu selections by Hyperbowler, Melanie and Thomas: hot/cold, spicy/not so spicy, crispy/chewy/tender, fish/fowl/cow/pork (including the ears of the last). Intimidated by the talmudic thoroughness of fellow hounds, I'll offer only general impressions: the spice level was perfect for me but several at my table (the larger one) thought it was a little tamer than CV's usual. It was a revelation how many different flavors of heat were coaxed from those dishes--could have been the difference between use of szechuan peppercorns versus red peppers, but each dish had its own way with spiciness. My favorite dishes were two of the most subtly seasoned--the cold bean curd sheets appetizer and the visually lovely pig ear dish. Bang bang chicken was moist but lackluster, 1000 chili pepper fish soup was as wonderful as always, although the Dong Bo duck was succulent and the braising sauce flavorful, I found myself daydreaming about the Peking duck from Great Wall and the tea-smoked duck from Five Happiness on Geary. The charred cabbage was sub-par--the wok was either too cold or too crowded for real char or smoky flavor. I passed on the lobster, which arrived late in the procession of courses when I didn't have the energy to struggle with shellfish. One detail I didn't note in the previous posts was the cost--at the larger table, which had more dishes and lots of leftovers, $pp was $44--high by chowdown standards but not for the abundant, excellent, varied fare and including a very generous tip.

Nov 27, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Affordable chinese pre-set menu for large group in SF

There was a set-menu chowdown at Great Eastern in Chinatown several years ago. Authentic cuisine (primarily Cantonese if I recall correctly), good quality ingredients, excellent value, and I think they were open to negotiating some substitutions/additions with commensurate adjustments in price. Obama stopped there for take-out dim during a campaign stop in San Francisco in 2012--what could be bad?

Nov 11, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area

Osmanthus Oakland

Hope they pick up the spicing--the menu looks so promising.

Just to clarify: Osmanthus owner/chef are Michael Chiang and Julia Klein. Syhabout just opened Box and Bells down the street at College/Chabot.

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

Nov 08, 2013
dordogne in San Francisco Bay Area