With fresh wild Alaskan salmon a pretty penny and California’s commercial salmon fishing seasoned cancelled this year because of dwindling wild stocks, what’s a salmon lover to do?
Open up a can.
Canned salmon has come a long way since my childhood, when my economical mom would pry open the top of a tin and plop out the contents, bones and all that were soft enough to actually eat, but perhaps not the most attractive looking.
Sausalito’s Safe Catch takes canned salmon to new heights, First, it sources sustainable salmon from the Alaska Salmon Fishery or northern Pacific Ocean, following the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide. Second, every salmon is tested for mercury, with Safe Catch accepting only those that are 25 times lower than the FDA action limit. Third, each can contains no fillers, just salmon and salt.
If you get the inkling that Sekoya, the newest restaurant to open on California Avenue in Palo Alto, might be named for the majestic, hardy, and giant tree, you’d be correct.
From the English elm and walnut tables in the lounge, and the dramatic, curving, live-edge dining table by the bar to the plates that mimic cross-sections of trees, it’s clear that sequoias and their ilk are an inspiration for this bar, lounge, and restaurant that opened in mid-August.
It’s the latest restaurant by Steve Ugur, co-owner of San Mateo’s Pausa with Chef Andrea Giuliani, who also happens to be director of butchering at his father’s San Mateo restaurant, Porterhouse. Unlike the former, which is Italian, and the latter, which is a classic steakhouse, Sekoya draws from many global influences, primarily French and Mediterranean.
Chef de Cuisine Jason Johnson — formerly of Chez TJ in Mountain View, and Wayfare Tavern and Quince, both in San Francisco — oversees the menu that is heavy on starters and shared plates.
The name of Healdsburg’s newest downtown restaurant loosely translates from Italian to “many friends.”
It’s emblematic of the convivial vibe to be found at Molti Amici, which took the place of locals’ favorite, Campo Fina, in late June.
It’s the brainchild of three alums of Michelin three-starred SingleThread Farms restaurant, just a block and a half away. Owner and sommelier Jonny Barr is that venerated restaurant’s former general manager. Husband-and-wife Chef Sean McGaughey and Melissa McGaughey, are SingleThread’s former chef de cuisine and hotel baker, respectively. The couple also own Healdsburg’s Quail & Condor bakery and Troubador cafe. At Molti Amici, Seth is the executive chef and Melissa is the pastry chef. They are assisted by Chef de Cuisine Matthew Cargo, former executive sous chef of Gjusta in Los Angeles, who honed his pasta and pizza skills through extensive travels throughout Italy.
Don’t expect fancy, white tablecloth, tweezer-food here, though. Instead, it’s all about handmade pizzas and pastas, made with a confident, deft hand that befits their impressive backgrounds. When I visited a couple weeks ago, as a guest of the restaurant, I enjoyed some of the best pastas and pizzas I’ve had in a while. And if you know my carb addiction, you know that’s saying something.
When it comes to cookies, my husband is decidedly “Basic Boy.”
Meaning, he likes his chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle. And doesn’t like to veer to far from them.
So, “Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles” satisfied both of our appetites. His for the classic. And mine for something a little more adventurous.
This wonderfully chewy and warmly spiced cookie recipe is from “Love Is A Pink Cake” (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Claire Ptak, a Californian who moved to London to open her Violet Bakery. Of course, you may also know her as a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Or you may recognize her as the baker commissioned in 2018 to make the wedding cake for none other than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.