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Scrumptious Snapshots from New York, Part I

Tuesday, 15. May 2012 5:26

Eating my way through New York, including this pasta at Eataly.

NEW YORK, NY — Yes, the hubby (aka Meat Boy) and I sneaked off to New York last week for one of the first real vacations we’ve had in a long time.

By that, I mean it was a trip that didn’t solely revolve around my work as a food writer. Instead, it was merely for relaxation and enjoyment — plus lots of good eats, of course. To make sure I actually did take time off, I wasn’t allowed to lug around my usual heavy camera, but only a tiny point-and-shoot. I had to ration my shots, too. After all, it’s not really a vacation if it’s viewed only through the lens of a camera and not the full spectrum of your own eyes.

Hope you enjoy the highlights:

When in New York, you've gotta have a bagel. Or two. Or...

Barney Greengrass

After taking the red-eye from San Jose to New York, we caught a couple of hours of shut-eye at our hotel before venturing to this 100-year-old institution. If you’re in New York, you’ve got to have a bagel or two, right? And what better place than at Barney Greengrass, famed for its smoked sturgeon.

Grab a table where you can at this tightly packed store flanked by deli cases.

My famished husband tore into a plate of smoked sturgeon scrambled with eggs and onions ($18.50), plus a bagel on the side, while I noshed on a sesame bagel stuffed with cream cheese, capers, onion, tomato, smoked sturgeon and Nova Scotia salmon ($20.75). Hello, New York!

BaoHaus

Chinese steamed buns filled with all manner of inventive fillings is the bill of fare at the shoebox-size BaoHaus started by the irreverent, lawyer-turned-street food-restaurateur Eddie Huang and his brother, Evan.

The zany artwork at BaoHaus.

Steamed buns filled with fried chicken (back) and pork belly (front).

The “Chairman Bao” ($2.99) is a fluffy white bun caressing juicy braised pork belly, cilantro, crushed peanuts and a hit of Taiwanese red sugar.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Great Finds, Meat, Pizza, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (21) | Author:

Crazy For Cupola Pizzeria

Friday, 23. March 2012 5:25

A meat lover's dream pizza at Cupola Pizzeria.

I don’t know if it’s the 5,000-pound Italian wood-fired oven that they managed somehow to lug up to the top of the San Francisco Centre shopping mall. Or the fact that they’re cooked in a fiery 850-degree heat over almond wood.

But the pizza crusts at Cupola Pizzeria are light, airy and downright ethereal.

When I was invited as a guest of the restaurant recently, our server even joked that the delicate crust makes it entirely too easy to polish off a whole pie by one’s self.

The casual restaurant, done up with bar-height tables for eating, is a great place to take a load off after spending a day perusing all the shops below, especially because it has a good selection of wines and cocktails. Opened last summer, this the Lark Creek Restaurant Group’s first pizzeria. And it does the company proud.

The monster of an oven.

The casual, lively dining room.

Order a la carte or enjoy the “La Festa di Tutte Le Feste” (Feast of All Feasts) for $30 per person. The latter gives you small tasting portions of an assortment of antipasti, starters and pastas, along with a pizza or two (depending on how many are in your party), plus dessert, making it a great deal for those who want to try almost everything on the menu.

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Category:General, Pizza, Restaurants | Comments (14) | Author:

New Pizza Joint in the South Bay, Dungeness Crab Galore & More

Wednesday, 15. February 2012 5:25

Caprese salad at Blue Line Pizza. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza Opens a Locale in Campbell

Pizza lovers will rejoice that San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza — famed for its deep-dish, cornmeal-crust pizzas — opened an offshoot last week in downtown Campbell.

Blue Line Pizza, named for the train that runs between O’Hare International Airport and Chicago, features organic salads, paninis, and both deep-dish and thin-crust pizzas.

The original Little Star has been a sensation ever since it opened its original Divisadero Street location in San Francisco in 2004 in San Francisco. There’s now a second branch in San Francisco, as well as one in Albany.

Sidle up to the bar at Blue Line Pizza. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

One taste of its deep-dish pie will tell you why it’s so popular.

I’m partial to the Blue Line (Little Star) with spinach, ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions and garlic, as well as the Mediterranean Chicken with roasted chicken, red bell peppers, olives, onions, feta and plenty of marinated artichoke hearts. It’s a mouthful; it’s a meal.

Blue Line Pizza is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

A Crabby Time at Lark Creek Restaurants

Through the end of February, the Lark Creek Restaurant Group celebrates the bounty of fresh, seasonal Dungeness crab.

Its 23rd annual “Crab Festival” will feature a range of crab dishes at its various restaurants.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Pizza, Restaurants, Seafood | Comments (7) | Author:

Chef Richard Reddington’s New Glam Pizza Joint, Celebrating Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup & More

Wednesday, 1. February 2012 5:25

Not your typical pizza parlor. Redd Wood is glam and whimsical. (Photo by Nick Vasilopoulos)

Redd Wood Opens in Yountville

Acclaimed Chef Richard Reddington of Redd in Yountville has opened his latest venture — Redd Wood, a casual Wine Country pizzeria, located just up the block from his other restaurant.

The chic looking space was created by St. Helena interior designer, Erin Martin of Erin Martin Design. In her first restaurant project ever, she’s created a look that’s rustic yet chic with unfinished stone, steel, glass, wood, mismatched chairs and intriguing salvaged objects.

“So much of the Yountville area is about serious food and wine experiences,” Reddington said in a statement. “With Redd Wood, I want to create an entirely different ambiance.”

A wood-fired pizza from Redd Wood. (Photo by Nick Vasilopoulos)

Take a seat inside or out to enjoy wood-fired pizzas such as prosciutto cotto, Brussels sprouts, tellagio and red onion ($14), and pastas such as lamb bolognese, arancini and tapenade ($18). A dedicated charcuterie room turns out house-cured prosciutto and salumi.

Enjoy Prize-Winning Taipei Beef Noodle Soup

How popular is beef noodle soup in Taiwan?

Consider that more than 168 contestants battled over burners last year in the Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival cook-off.

But you don’t have to get on a plane to try this street food favorite.Chef Hou Chung-sheng with his prize-winning beef noodle soup. (Photo courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office)

Chef Hou Chun-sheng, the 2011 winner of the spicy beef noodle soup category, will be serving up samples of his specialty at two upcoming events in San Francisco.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Meat, Pizza, Restaurants, Spirits/Cocktails/Beer, Wine | Comments (5) | Author:

One Quick Bite Part II: Kitchen Door

Friday, 13. January 2012 5:26

Armenian-style flatbread pizza at Kitchen Door.

When Martini House restaurant closed in St. Helena in 2010, I was crushed.

With its warm, polished wood interior and bucolic al fresco patio, it was the perfect place year-round to enjoy everything from an outstanding burger to a top-notch prix fixe dinner.

But I couldn’t have been more thrilled to find that Chef Todd Humphries resurfaced last year at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa with his newest restaurant, Kitchen Door.

The marketplace, reminiscent but smaller than the one at the San Francisco Ferry Building, is a mix of food, wine and tea vendors, most of them situated in a large, indoor walk-around space.

But Kitchen Door is an actual separate restaurant located at the rear of the complex. It’s a lively fast-casual establishment with an open kitchen sporting a wood-fired oven and rotisserie.

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Category:Chefs, General, Pizza, Restaurants | Comments (12) | Author: