Category Archives: Pizza

Chocolates, Cakes & Pizza — Who Needs More?

Brazilian brigadeiros to indulge in.

Brazilian brigadeiros to indulge in. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Brazilian Chocolates

Watching World Cup may have gotten you riled up with all the action on the field. Me? It just got me hungry, thinking about all the specialty foods associated with each of the countries competing.

So when a sample box of brigadeiros arrived last week in my mailbox, it was perfect timing. San Francisco’s Tiny B specializes in these traditional Brazilian sweets, bite-sized chocolates made with condensed milk and flavorings. They’re like little balls of fudge rolled around nuts or sprinkles. And they are plenty addictive.

My sample contained some of Tiny B’s classic flavors. I have to say I am partial to dark chocolate, so the dark chocolate sprinkles one was probably my favorite because it let the intensity of the dark chocolate shine through.

A box of four is $12. You can customize it by choosing your exact flavors, too.

Bluestem Brasserie Lets You Have Your Cake

If you’ve ever had the legendary Honolulu Hangover cake at Bluestem Brasserie in San Francisco, you know how incredible it is. If you’ve never had it, well, now here’s your chance.

 

The unforgettable Honolulu Hangover. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The unforgettable Honolulu Hangover. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The restaurant has brought it back and will offer it through Labor Day as part of its special “Cake Only” dessert menu.

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Enoteca La Storia Invigorates San Jose’s Little Italy

The Beginner's Luck cocktail.

The Beginner’s Luck cocktail.

 

If you’re already a fan of the original Enoteca La Storia in Los Gatos, you’re sure to embrace its big brother that’s more than three times the size that opened last year in San Jose’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Owners Joe Cannistraci, 52 of Sicilian heritage, and Mike Guerra, 53 of Calabrese heritage, are proud Italian-Americans who pay homage to Italian forebearers at each location. Cannistraci’s father owned a grocery in New York; while Guerra’s paternal grandfather and paternal great-grandfather both owned grocery stores in San Jose, and his maternal grandparents ran Hollister’s Villa Pace Italian restaurant.

The inside of this historic building has been fully refurbished. It is old Italy meets contemporary industrial with exposed brick and duct work, along with old black and white photos enlarged to pay respect to Italian families who helped shaped this valley. In fact, an assistant manager singled out one particular photo of the Italian family who used to run a bakery on this spot long ago. One of the babies in that photo, now all grown-up, recently came in and pointed out herself to the owners.

The main dining room.

The main dining room.

A mock-up receipt from the old bakery that used to operate on the site.

A mock-up receipt from the old bakery that used to operate on the site.

An old photo of the Murillo family that operated the bakery.

An old photo of the Murillo family that operated the bakery.

Old wood bread paddles from the bakery also are on display, as is a rendering of a receipt from the bakery, blown up to poster size.

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Little Star Pizza South Bay News, Taste & Tribute, And More

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Little Star Pizza

What happens when Little Star Pizza teams with DoorDash?

Easier deep-dish delivery for South Bay folks.

Delivery app DoorDash recently launched a 2,000-square-foot commissary kitchen in San Jose for four different delivery-only restaurants. It represents an option for restaurants that want to expand their delivery reach without having to invest in their own brick-and-mortar facility.

The first tenant-partner in the DoorDash Kitchens is The Star, an off-shoot of San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza, famed for both deep-dish and classic thin-crust pies.

I was invited to try a sample delivery from the commissary kitchen, which now services the San Jose-Santa Clara area.

You can order either on the app or Web site, and choose what day and what time-frame you want it all delivered. DoorDash also lets you add a tip on the order electronically, so you don’t have to fumble with your wallet when you answer your door.

I chose the Classic Small Deep Dish Pizza ($22), Mediterranean Deep Dish Pizza ($22), and small Goddess Salad ($6).

The driver texted me when he picked up the food, and noted he’d arrive at my house in about 25 minutes. Sure enough, he was there at the pre-scheduled appointed time, bearing pizzas that were still hot.

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The crust on the pizzas are beautifully golden. They’re crisp on the outside and slightly chewy within, rather like olive oil-brushed focaccia.

The Classic is piled high with a generous amount of chunky tomato sauce, nubbins of fennel sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green bell peppers. The Mediterranean is even more flavorful with its loaded mix of tomato sauce, roasted chicken, artichoke hearts, green olives, onions, red bell peppers, and feta.

They were as satisfying as if I had eaten them at the restaurant, only I got to enjoy them in the relaxation of my own home.

There wasn’t a whole lot to the Gem salad, owing to the fact that the toasted almonds mentioned on the Web site were nowhere to be found. Still, the greens were fresh and flecked with a few minced chives.

I appreciated the salad was composed of Little Gem leaves, too, rather than mundane iceberg or spring mix. The accompanying creamy pesto dressing was full of tangy, piquant and herbaceous flavors. I ended up cutting up a cucumber in my fridge to round out the salad a little more.

If you’re craving pizza in the South Bay — particularly deep-dish — you’ll definitely be glad to know it’s a mere delivery away now.

Taste & Tribute

Help preserve ancient Tibetan culture, while enjoying one of the most unique chef galas around.

The 17th annual Taste & Tribute takes place Nov. 17 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Founding Chef Laurent Manrique, owner of Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, will be joined by 21 other top chefs, including Jennifer Sherman of Chez Panisse, Rogelio Garcia of The Commissary, Anjan Mitra of Dosa, Khai Duong of Kai restaurant, Daniel Corey of Luce, and Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade.

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Eating My Way Through New York: Won’t Break the Bank

The smoked chicken sandwich at Roberta's.

The smoked chicken sandwich at Roberta’s.

Roberta’s

The iconic New York pizza may be a huge, greasy, foldable slice. But Roberta’s in Brooklyn is where true pizza connoisseurs flock.

At this funky place, you enter this cement fortress of a building through scuffed wooden doors to a alpine-lodge-like dining room crammed with long, wood communal tables.

A bird-eye view of the pizza making.

A bird-eye view of the pizza making.

The dining room at lunch time.

The dining room at lunch time.

The massive wood-fired pizza oven is to your right. You get a clue as to how much attention they pay to the pizzas here when you see a pie go into the oven. It’s never left alone for long. The cook is regularly rotating it, and lifting it, leaning the edge of the crust toward the flames to kiss it with char before turning it again and again.

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Sweets and Savories Galore — Plus A Whole Lot More At The Village Bakery & Cafe

Mango sorbet profiteroles for dessert at the new Village Bakery & Cafe.

Mango sorbet profiteroles for dessert at the new Village Bakery & Cafe.

 

As a Woodside resident, Tim Stannard knew full well the small town could use another restaurant.

But the founder of the Bacchus Management Group of restaurants admits he also had a selfish reason for opening his newest establishment, the Village Bakery & Cafe, on the main drag there a couple of weeks ago.

“I had gone to the old bakery there almost daily. It was where I grabbed my pre-coffee after dropping my son off at school, before heading to Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto (another Bacchus establishment) to have more coffee. It’s embarrassing,” he says with a laugh. “That may still be my routine. It will just be better coffee now.

That’s because Bacchus’ own Oakland-based RoastCo beans are featured at the new Village Bakery & Cafe, which occupies the space previously held by the Woodside Bakery and a neighboring art gallery.

I had a chance to check out the new place last week, just days after it opened, when I was invited in as a guest.

It’s right next door to folksy, quirky favorite, Buck’s. It’s also just yards away from Bacchus’ Michelin-starred Village Pub. If you’ve been to its sister property Mayfield Bakery & Cafe, the concept will be familiar. There is a full-fledged bakery, as well as a bar and restaurant.

The bakery portion.

The bakery portion.

The fresh bread selection.

The fresh bread selection.

Temptations behind glass.

Temptations behind glass.

If you come for dinner, it pays to come a little early when the bakery is still open, so you can snag baguettes, coffee cake, fruit tarts, and big-fisted cookies to enjoy as a midnight snack or the next day for breakfast at home. You also might want to arrive a little early because the parking lot can fill up fast.

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