January 4, 2014 |
We were looking for a restaurant within walking distance of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and found a great spot that even our local friends didn't know about. We all raved about its empanadas, roasted chicken and sangria. Its ceviche was the best I have had outside of Peru. The servers made us all feel like regulars. Call for reservations if more than two, because there are only a few large tables and a few seats at the lovely bar. La Fusion, 475 Pine St., (415) 781-0894, http://www.lafusion-sf.com D. Kay Renick Ventura
November 23, 2013 |
This is an elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, very much still in the style that won the famous Paris Tasting of 1976 and launched California Chardonnay onto the world wine scene. Silky on the palate, the 2011 has aromas of pear, citrus and honeysuckle. A bright acidity and a discrete touch of oak give the ripe fruit flavors a lift. A wine to savor. This would be a great bottle to take to a holiday dinner with people who would appreciate its finesse. It shows best with shellfish or fish in sauce -- coquilles St. Jacques, lobster with drawn butter or Dungeness crab, but also a simple roast chicken.
August 3, 2013
The Chianti region is large, and while the wines from the Classico region are the best known, for price and quality, look to the lesser-known Chianti Rufina, a small area in the northeastern corner of Chianti proper. Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Rufina, turning out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds. I've been buying its Chianti for years, keeping it on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or chops. A deep ruby in color, the 2010 Selvapiana tastes of bright cherries and plums, but a touch of earth gives it some weight.
April 13, 2013 |
Funny how the chicken has become our most beloved bird. My neighbor is raising some exotic chicks, but even those of us who don't go to that extreme have our own favorite named chickens to buy - Rosie, Rocky, Mary or the more exotically named Jidori. Roast chicken is the go-to dish for every chef I can name. And chicken is a perennial favorite on most restaurant menus - fried, pan-fried, rotisserie-roasted, in tagine , salad, soup, pot pie, curry and every which way. Here are three of my favorite chicken dishes in L.A. Bouchon Bouchon may be famous for its lusty fried chicken, and that is one of the great fried chickens of the world, but my heart is firmly fixed on Thomas Keller's roast chicken grand-mère , which may be the prettiest chicken dish in L.A. It arrives tall and proud, the breast stacked on top of the leg and thigh, with dainty pearl onions, demure fingerling potatoes, button mushrooms and bacon lardons strewn around the plate in the bird's winter savory-infused juices.
April 1, 2013 |
Ever since I got Seattle chef John Sundstrom's cookbook and iPad app " Lark: Cooking against the Grain " (Community Supported Cookbooks, $50 for the book; $9.99 for the app), I've been cooking out of the book like crazy. For a Sunday supper, his mustard roasted chicken with drippings, potatoes and chard is easy as can be. Basically he mixes together equal parts Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard with minced shallot, thyme leaves, a glug of olive oil and a big splash of white wine.
January 12, 2013 |
Meghan and Carter are getting married. Like so many friends of my daughter, they are bright, funny and, sometimes, almost preternaturally serious. A couple of weeks ago, they asked my wife if we would talk to them about how to stay married - and about how to cook. The first, I'll leave to Kathy; after almost 34 years, it's still a mystery to me. But the cooking part is right up my alley, and, even better, I figured it would give me a chance to try out some of the ideas I've been on a soapbox about for the last couple of years.