Category Archives: Meat

Wagyu Everything at Gozu Pop-up at Avery

Wrap our heads around this: yellowfin bone marrow. At the Gozu pop-up at Avery restaurant.

Wrap our heads around this: yellowfin bone marrow. At the Gozu pop-up at Avery restaurant.

 

Gozu, the Wagyu beef-centered restaurant, isn’t expected to open its doors in the South of Market area of San Francisco until May. But it’s already opened my eyes to the possibilities of this prized, specialty Japanese beef.

Last week, I had the pleasure of dining as a guest at one of the three nights that Gozu hosted a pop-up at Avery in San Francisco.

The $95 per person tasting menu featured four dishes from the Avery’s Chef Rodney Wages, an alum of The French Laundry in Yountville, and Benu, Atelier Crenn, and Saison, all in San Francisco; as well as four dishes from Gozu’s Chef Marc Zimmerman, who cooked at Nobu, Restaurant Guy Savoy, and Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco. Two supplemental dishes also were available for an extra charge.

Like its predecessor in this Fillmore Street locale, the elegant Korean-influenced Mosu, Avery continues the tradition of having no sign out front. The windows are opaque, too. So, just look carefully for the numerical address, and you’ll find it just fine.

The two-story restaurant is quite compact, and done up with grays and black to give it a chic air.

The upstairs dining room.

The upstairs dining room.

Chef Marc Zimmerman of the forthcoming Gozu (left) and Chef Rodney Wages of Avery (right).

Chef Marc Zimmerman of the forthcoming Gozu (left) and Chef Rodney Wages of Avery (right).

For the first half of the meal, before the restaurant got too full, the two chefs both brought out their dishes, hand-delivering to the table. Zimmerman says he got the idea for a Wagyu-focused restaurant after traveling through Japan. There, casual robata-style eateries specialize in Wagyu and make use of every bit of the pampered, outrageously marbled cows.

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Slow-Braised Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni and Whipped Ricotta

Whipped ricotta with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil finish this lamb ragu with rigatoni.

Whipped ricotta with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil finish this lamb ragu with rigatoni.

 

Winter’s chill begs for a robust dish.

One that demands an equally powerful wine alongside, too.

So stir up a big pot of “Slow-Braised Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni and Whipped Ricotta” and pop open a bottle of Italian Barolo — and you can’t go wrong.

The recipe — and pairing — is from the new “Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking” (Lorena Jones Books), of which I received a review copy.

It was written by Dana Frank, a Portland sommelier who co-owns the wine bar Bar Norman and urban winery Bow & Arrow; and cookbook writer Andrea Slonecker.

Wine Food Cookbook

Packed with more than 75 recipes, this book makes pairing easy and understandable, by not only suggesting the best wine for each dish, but giving recommended producers, too.

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A Sneak Peek at Northern California’s First Shake Shack

Get ready for fried chicken on a potato bun at the Bay Area's only Shake Shack.

Get ready for fried chicken on a potato bun at the Bay Area’s only Shake Shack.

 

You might as well get in line right now because hordes are no doubt going to descend upon Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on Saturday when the first Northern California Shake Shack finally opens.

Yes, the wildly popular gourmet burger chain by New York’s Danny Meyer will finally open its doors in the Bay Area. It is right next to P.F. Chang’s in the ritzy outdoor mall.

Opening hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. And the first 100 people through the doors on opening day get a free Shake Shack travel bag.

Last night, I had a chance to get a sneak peek and taste when I was invited to a media preview party.

The Palo Alto Shake Shack in Stanford Shopping Center.

The Palo Alto Shake Shack in Stanford Shopping Center.

The menu boards.

The menu boards.

The interior features reclaimed and repurposed materials.

The interior features reclaimed and repurposed materials.

The 2,491-square-foot former Wells Fargo bank building features outdoor as well as indoor seating, including tabletops made of reclaimed bowling alley lanes.

It’s also cashless. You place your order at self-serve kiosks.

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Nik Sharma’s Roast Leg of Lamb

Set this down in front of your guests for real treat.

Set this down in front of your guests for real treat.

The holidays practically demand a showstopper entree, something with heft and presence that will make guests not only sit up and take notice, but eager to dig in with complete abandon.

For me, that’s long been bone-in prime rib crusted with salt and rosemary, fresh Dungeness crabs with their deep orange shells that give way to snowy fluffy meat, a glazed ham enveloped with a thick glistening layer of juicy fat or a massive leg of lamb cooked on the grill with copious amounts of garlic.

Now, Nik Sharma of the award-winning A Brown Table blog ups that leg of lamb option by adding a load of irresistible ginger, cardamom, turmeric, juniper, cloves, almonds, pistachios and luscious yogurt to the equation.

His “Roast Leg of Lamb” marinades in that creamy, unctuous sauce tinged the color of daffodils for a full day before being slid into the oven.

Season Cookbook

The recipe is from his first cookbook “Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food” (Chronicle Books) cookbook, of which I received a review copy.

Sharma is an Oakland-based writer, recipe developer and photographer (yes, he took all the wonderfully evocative images in his book) who writes a weekly cooking column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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The Thanksgiving Feast Is A Breeze With Luke’s Local

Thanksgiving is served -- in a jiffy, thanks to Luke's Local.

Thanksgiving is served — in a jiffy, thanks to Luke’s Local.

 

Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you? Are you little prepared? Dog-tired? Rather leave the cooking to someone else?

Look no further than Luke’s Local.

The San Francisco-based business not only has a market in Cole Valley, but also offers catering and delivery of not only prepared foods but flowers, bread, cheese and produce from local purveyors.

For Thanksgiving, Luke’s offers a range of prepared sides; wines; house-smoked turkeys or fresh birds from Branigan’s Turkey Farm, Mary’s and Willie Bird; and desserts from Black Jet Baking Company, Mission Pie, and Starter Bakery.

In short, it’s everything you’d need for a fuss-free feast, where the only heavy-lifting you probably need to do is carry everything to the dining room table and enjoy.

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