Pacific Catch Makes A Landing in Mountain View

Friday, 30. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

 

San Francisco-based Pacific Catch opened its sixth location at the end of March in Mountain View — and its largest restaurant to date.

Located at The Village at San Antonio Center, it’s a pretty, airy restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, plus roomy booths in the dining room that’s decorated on theme with fish prints, a cascading water wall and light fixtures that look like they’re fabricated from delicate Japanese paper.

Partners Aaron Noveshen and Keith Cox opened the first Pacific Catch on Chestnut Street in San Francisco in 2003. This spring, they also brought on board David Gingrass as executive chef. Gingrass, who cooked with Wolfgang Puck and once had the lauded Hawthorne Lane restaurant in San Francisco, has streamlined and upgraded operations, according to the general manager. Still to come, Gingrass will be putting his stamp on the menu with some new dishes.

The dining room.

The dining room.

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to check out the current menu when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

The restaurant is proud of its crafted cocktails including the Spicy Pacific ($7), which I tried at the manager’s suggestion. It’s a golden blend of Svedka vodka, passion fruit and Serrano chilies. It starts out fruity and refreshing, then the kick of heat kicks in at the end, warming the throat all the way down. It should come with a warning, as you can’t help but take one sip then reach for another and another.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants, Seafood | Comments (1)



Rutherford’s Round Pond Olive Oils

Wednesday, 28. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Mini bottles of the 2014 Round Pond olive oil releases.

Mini bottles of the 2014 Round Pond olive oil releases.

 

We’re spoiled in Northern California and we know it.

We often take for granted the abundance at our finger tips, from glorious produce year-round to stellar wines to luscious olive oils.

Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate in the Napa Valley makes the most of all of that, crafting wines from 357 acres of vineyards, vinegars from Cabernet and Merlot grapes, syrups from its orchards of citrus, and oils from imported Mediterranean olive trees.

Recently, I had a chance to try its 2014 estate olive oils pressed in a state-of-the-art mill, one of only two olive oil mills in the Napa Valley.

The Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from such varieties as Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, Frantoio and Coratina. It’s a quite full-bodied oil that really announces itself with abundant richness. It would be wonderful drizzled over a pasta dish to finish it or to give oomph to any green salad.

The Blood Orange Olive Oil, made with organic citrus, is sweetly fragrant. The orange taste is smooth and delicate. I envision baking with it or pouring it over soft-serve.

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (3)



Luscious Leg of Lamb and a Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 26. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Rosy slices of lamb topped with a vibrant salsa verde.

Rosy slices of lamb topped with a vibrant salsa verde.

 

Let’s face it — bones can be a bit of a pain to deal with.

Just try eating chicken wings gracefully.

Or de-boning a whole fish in front of guests without mangling it.

But bones serve a purpose in cooking. They add more flavor to the flesh as it cooks. They also conduct heat, allowing the meat to cook more evenly with less shrinkage.

So when Superior Farms, one of the largest distributors of lamb in the country, offered to let me try any cut on the house, I went for one with a bone. A big bone.

I chose a bone-in leg of American lamb because it’s not a cut you find all that easily in markets these days. Sure, you can get a boneless leg of lamb with little effort, but one that still has a bone in it often requires a real search. That’s because it’s a lot heftier to handle. It’s also more challenging to carve. But what a dramatic presentation it makes for at the table.

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Category:General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (13)



Green Beans with Japanese Flair

Friday, 23. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Green beans you won't be able to stop eating.

Green beans you won’t be able to stop eating.

 

Planning a picnic this Memorial Day? Or a backyard barbecue this long weekend?

Then, you’ve got to make these green beans.

I guarantee they will be the talk of the table.

I first made “Green Beans with Miso and Almonds” last Thanksgiving as a novel alternative to the usual green bean casserole. My in-laws couldn’t stop eating it. Each of them kept reaching for seconds, even thirds. Now, whenever my husband sees me trimming fresh green beans from the farmers markets, he secretly hopes they’re destined for this dish.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (5)

A Glutton for Butter Mochi

Wednesday, 21. May 2014 5:25 | Author:

Butter mochi -- my downfall.

Butter mochi — my downfall.

 

Last week, I gorged myself.

And I blame Chef Jeffrey Stout for it.

You see, after a recent trip to Hawaii, I happened to post a photo on Facebook of a unique sweet treat that I enjoyed there that was quite new to me: butter mochi.

Stout, former chef of Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino who’s now building his own restaurant, Orchard City Kitchen in Campbell, did what any self-respecting chef would do when he spied the photo and sensed my longing — he emailed me a recipe for it.

Curses!

It was far easier to make than I thought it would be. When I tried a piece, I immediately ate a second, then had to restrain myself from reaching for a third.

Chef, what have you done!

The recipe comes from Stout’s neighbor, Taryn Esperas, who has been known to make this for neighborhood block parties, where it’s always one of the first things to be gobbled up.

It’s cake. But not. It’s custard. But not really. It’s sort of its own delightful hybrid.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (14)