Tag Archives: food writers

I’ve Gone to GoPago; Meatballs for All!

26 Jul

I am very happy to announce that I am now working with the awesome team at GoPago. This free mobile app combines all of my favorite things: reading menus, restaurants, shopping, customizing, ordering, purchasing, technology, efficiency, community and my smartphone. The community aspect is of the utmost importance to me so please be sure to follow us on Twitter @go_pago, on Facebook and on the app to keep the community expanding and to let me know what you think!

Speaking of expanding, the amount of restaurants offering our services is ever-growing but I wanted to highlight a few dishes at some of our restaurants because I am currently meat and chickpea ball obsessed. I have already written quite extensively about my love for the Meatball Gigante at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Although, if you can’t order one of the 25 made daily, the regular size are equally delicious and a more manageable ball.

For my vegetarian friends, GoPago has three Sunrise Deli locations where you can try one of the best falafels in the city. The Super Falafel with eggplant and potato included in the pita pocket or lavash wrap is the way to go.

For those looking to combine the best of both worlds and marry the most awesome things together, like GoPago does, I have an awesome Frankenstein-esque ordering  kind of solution. You must try the dish I recently wrote about that combines Italian with Middle Eastern. The Safeehat Falafel at Jannah, which is basically a pizza with a falafel crust and the most delicious toppings: pesto, eggplant, roasted red bell pepper, green and red onions, shitake mushrooms, tomato, feta, and goat cheese.

I want to offer you $10 in credit to try some of the restaurants out, since I am so excited about my new role, the company, the app, and these food selections. Simply download the app and enter my special promo code “Meatball” to try one of these awesome dishes, all under $10, for the next 48hrs. Come over to the new way of ordering/paying quickly and let’s have a ball!

Carina Ost: On Course in My Mission Fruition

11 Jul

Photo Credit: Henri Matisse. Nude with Oranges. My favorite painting.

If there is one universal truth that I believe in, it is synchronicity. Last year, when I moved from LA after a good solid year and a half of writing about food and a building a young lifestyle company for foodies I was unsure of my direction, identity, and next steps. My move to San Francisco, mainly Noe Valley, brought me to a colorful sign that read “Ripe Fruit Writing.” Hmm, my new life plan was to be a writer and no longer dreams of being a reality tv star or media mogul. Two of the six new domains that I bought were entitled Ripeness is All dot com and Mission Fruition dot com. “Ripeness is all” was taken from Shakespeare’s King Lear and is often used to stand solo because those three words are the meaning of life for me, even if not Shakespeare’s intention. Ripeness is All was meant to be my personal growth blog and Mission Fruition is where I would try and talk about my main passion: food. I have done a pretty shitty job adding to both but I’ll blame the luck of great jobs and opportunities falling in my lap for that one.

Anyway, back to Ripe Fruit Writing. It was a writing class in my neighborhood where we had a teacher, prompts, notebooks, and pens and took breaks with hot tea and ripe fruit. In other words, it was the perfect class for me and only blocks from my house. One of my prompts that we did was trying to recall our first memory. What do we see when our mind transports us back in time to our youngest self? Supposedly, this is what will follow you for your whole life. For me, I was probably nearly three. I was just out of the bath with my mom and I refused a towel. I was wet and naked and specifically remember wet hair. I am at my grandma’s house. There are only white walls and then large pink and orange artwork of Matisse nudes, musicians playing in New York, and Asian women warriors riding lions that she batiked. My grandma and I both loved fruit but she  loved her fruit very under ripe and ice cold, straight from the fridge. I hated that feeling on my new teeth. She handed me a peach and it was so cold that I held it to my mouth like it was my egg and I was it’s mother. I would patiently wait until it was the appropriate room temperature before I took a bite. I then remember juices running down my face and deeply looking at the colors, the oranges and the reds closer to the pit.

Immediately I can see how this first memory has continued in my life. First, I still take ridiculously long baths and my mom and I normally are simultaneously in the bath in our respective homes when we talk on the phone together.  It is our bonding time. I also get made fun of for not knowing how to dry myself off. I don’t blow dry my hair and barely use a towel. The most comforting thing for me is getting under the covers wet and taking a 10 minute nap after the exhausting bath. Secondly, my grandma’s asethetic is all over my apartment and embedded in my style. Granted, I have a ton of her artwork but even the pieces I choose are very similar. Asian influences with female subjects and reds, pinks, oranges and yellow. Lastly, on to the peach, fruition is my favorite word and has been since I was 12 and fruit follows me in all that I do. When I was in this writing group we read these aloud and my classmates commented on how sensual that was and it was no wonder that writing about food is what brings me the most pleasure.

Which brings me on to me next subject, did I find what I am supposed to be doing? I don’t know yet. However, I do know that the other day I was looking through my closet and stumbled across some old school  papers. Among them was an alphabet book that we had to make. For my subject, I chose food and while flipping through the pages I discovered that I have been writing about food and taking pictures of food for far longer than I ever imagined. I also remembered in Jr. High doing a presentation where you were supposed to teach the class a skill and I did cake decorating. It was a complete and utter diaster, but again food was my beacon.

Anyway, I can’t describe how good it felt to connect the line in the map of my life from the past to the future and realize that there is a reason that I am doing exactly what I have always done and representing the person at my core. I mean, it’s impossible to ever really go off course, at then end of our lives we can clearly see the path and it will make sense but I really felt so lost just a year ago: new career ambitions, new city, new friends, and new life.  My college application essay for undergrad was called “Why I Deserve to Be Like Merv” about Merv Griffin. First, I wanted to own hotel. Later I wanted to be Martha Stewart and made a brand plan that looked identical to hers. Now, I can say that I am paving my own way and it is more true to myself than I could have imagined. As someone who grew up reading nothing but biographies there is something so profoundly liberating about filling up my own pages instead of reading and following along to someone else’s.

Sony WX-9: A Camera Love Story for Foodies

30 Apr

There are certain times when I can categorically say that my life does not suck. Building a career based around my love of food and words is pretty good, even if at times my waistline and wallet disagree, but then every once in awhile you get these invites that truly and eternally make it worth it. Last month, I got an invite from Sony Electronics to take part in a foodie event with bloggers from all over the country. Towards the end of March, I flew to San Diego and met up with some of my favorite food writers that I consider close friends and then people that I have just admired from my Twitter feed or Google Reader. The Minty, pretty much my favorite person from my LA food blogging days, Yay Fiona from FoodSpotting and the Punk Domestic boys also came down from SF and made me very happy. The first night I was introduced to the rest of the group, which included some big name bloggers like  No Recipes and Mouth of the Border. I can’t explain enough how good it feels when you are surrounded by your kind of people. People that love making up hashtags for events on Twitter, adding venues for Foursquare, taking pictures of every bite before it hits their fork, and giving a proper intro that includes a Twitter handle. I’ll happily admit it, food bloggers and twEATers are my people. The next day, during breakfast, we were introduced to our new lover – Sony Cyber-shot WX-9. It was ours and we were going to take it for our test drive at our mecca: a farmers’ market. The camera is very impressive, a ton of easy settings for food, pets, soft skin, and fireworks, there is also 3D functions, photo layerings, and an easy panorama mode. All of the pictures from here on out were taken with my new cyber-shot, as genius as the camera is, I couldn’t figure out how to photograph the camera with the camera. Here were some of my first photos taken, a quick lesson and my silly mind just pointed and shot. As far as I am concerned, this camera allowed me to shoot like a professional.

We then took our cameras to the beach of Ocean Beach for an amazing lunch thrown together by Chef Chris Ivens-Brown who let’s just put it this way, has enough power to make a fish extinct.  He is the VP of Culinary Development  and Executive Chef at Compass Group, the leader in foodservice management including for the Sony corporation, there are only a handful of corporations whose food he does not touch. In the words of Spiderman, god, and everyone else with a conscience, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” He preached sustainability, local, and organic with such vigor that I had to make sure that I wasn’t still in San Francisco. It was actually refreshing as was his strawberry lemonade, the ocean view, and the buffet lunch spread that just didn’t quit.

After this feast I napped, watched Oprah, and got ready for dinner. I couldn’t help but laugh at the Sony Execs who looked like they were in so much pain on the shuttle from lunch. They were so not used to eating such large lunches and then having to prepare for dinner in only a few hours. Leave it up to the professionals; this is what I call Tuesday. Dinner was where it was at and my crew was ready. We arrived at the breathtaking Sony Headquarters, went up to the top floor dining room and were lead into the kitchen where Chef Chris was leading the team. He gave us some appetizers and gave us a behind the scenes on how to make a potato basket that we later saw in one of our 9 courses to be had.

Being lead in to the dining room is where the Chef, Sony, and the trip sparkled. Interesting and inspired food, more than one pairing with Nickel & Nickel wine, and a chance for mixed tables and mingling with new people from the group.

Everything from the carrot and cilantro Soup to the surprise beta swimming in the bowl beneath my lobster salad and up until the steaming pineapple potpourri was breathtaking and mouth watering.

For the final course we moved on to petit fours and Veuve on the patio with the fire pits and got to begin our goodbyes after a magical couple of days. All of us food bloggers discussed how pleased we were that Sony “got it,” we go to so many food type events with shitty food and people/companies who don’t care. Rocco DiSpirito may have a perfect penis but sending him to a food event with frozen dinners in hand, just won’t cut it. You know what I am sayin? This was delightful and yes I left with a nice and easy to use camera, but more importantly I left with some fun memories, new foodie friends, and much more. My camera did showcase my memories and meals perfectly and, really, what else can a food blogger ask for?

Here I am with my SF crew and my Minty.

Here is what the others had to say and shoot:

The Minty on the farmer’s market, lunch, and dinner.

Travel + Wine

Chickpease Please

Foodspotting

Wayfaring Wanderer with the most insanely beautiful photos and posts on the event

Amy Blogs Chow’s posts

Sukhjit’s video teaser

The Flickr photo pool

Secret Menu: Betelnut & BlackboardEats Serve It Up

8 Mar

Photo Credit: Cooking With Amy

Secret menus are the foodie equivalent of Members Only jackets: you feel special just to know about it, you don’t even have to indulge in it. My little brother is all about the Pink Starburst smoothie at Jamba Juice and I like a Flying Dutchman that gets it done without the buns, hun. What, you don’t know? Pfft. Two meat patties with two slices of American cheese between them, a top-secret part of the In-N-Out secret menu.

I got word from the fine folks at BlackboardEats that they have partnered with Betelnut to offer a super special and secret menu.

Here are the details:

Chef Alex Ong created four offal-ly good dishes

Crispy chicken liver, black pepper sauce, $9.88
Cured lamb tongue, galangal, lime, crispy taro, $11.88
Salt-and-pepper veal sweetbread, $12.88
Fish head tamarind curry, $15.88

This fish head curry is so rare that it is rarely seen outside of Malaysia and even the secretive Michael Bauer wrote about it.

So, how do you get in on the secret? It’s easy, go to http://www.blackboardeats.com/san-francisco be a member (for free) and get the code (for free) but here is the real exclusivity: you only have until 2pm on March 9th. There’s a countdown…..get on it……

Side Note: Here’s a joke that reminds me of “Secret Menus”

Q: How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: It’s like a really obscure number, you wouldn’t have heard of it.

Poesia: It’s Like a Poem…in my mouth

9 Sep

True Story: I dream  of homemade pasta daily. It is so much on my brain that I hardly notice it anymore. When my best foodie friend was in town she mentioned it right away asking, “Do you know how many times you have brought up fresh pasta on my visit?” I was in disbelief and shrugged. I had no idea, but fresh pasta, now that sounds delicious. Over the course of her trip we had a series of big meals planned but one night the focus was strictly on drinking and shaking our chonies. This night was the San Francisco version of our Gays & Dolls bar crawl. I was present for the two versions she threw in LA and the West Hollywood version was one of the best nights of my life. My friend, The Minty, has an entire gay posse and with her help I have gained gay boyfriends all my own.

You have no idea what it means to dance until you are on a crowded dance floor surrounded by hot shirtless men and get to go wild to all of your favorite guilty pleasure pop songs. If there was heaven on earth, it would probably be the dance floor of a gay club. This kind of activity requires a full meal in the belly and cocktails consumed pinkies up. On this particular night, we were looking for a restaurant near the Castro where we could fill our tummies with carbs. Minty, who was more aware than I about how much I wanted pasta, suggested we get Italian. A few internet, Yelp, and newspaper searches later we found Poesia, which means poem in Italian. How could two food writers choose a restaurant by any other name? Between the location and the menu we were sold that this would be our restaurant for the night. I called to make a reservation and the man that picked up the phone had a beautiful Italian accent. We walked to the establishment that looks like a house, opened the door, and walked the stairs to the top where the quaint restaurant was before us. We ordered the Tortino Ai Carciofi right away, which was a fried ball of all of my favorite things: artichokes and mozzarella. Anyone that knows me knows that artichokes have my heart and I may have asked for extra bread to continue dipping on.

The other appetizers ordered didn’t reach the ball heights of that artichoke dip but the Insalta Verde with butter lettuce, nectarines, Pecorino Mugellano was a decent summer salad. The mussels weren’t phenomenal but I did find myself dipping the bread into the broth for hours to come. I have now mentioned the bread more than once and that it is because it is homemade in small loaves and it became something that I had zero self-control with.

We were three girls carb loading for a night of drinking and dancing and we were in a restaurant with all homemade pastas. We all stayed on course and ordered pasta dishes. The Minty had the Fileji di Renato with pork ribs, garlic, and tomato sauce. The sauce on this dish was beautifully executed. It is so rare for me to have an interesting tomato sauce and that was the sauce that I am still thinking about. The meat in the dish was secondary to the sauce and the thick handmade pasta.

Thankfully, my second choice of pasta dishes was ordered by our friend at the table. Orecchiette al Forno was a dish that combined some of my favorite ingredients. The delicate small ear shaped pasta was served with artichokes, shitake, provolone and walnuts. It was an interesting combination of ingredients that all worked together.

When it came to entrees, I am happy to report that I believe that my dish was the winner. I ordered the Farfalle Fiorte, which had fresh mozzarella and squash blossoms. The waiter questioned me right after my order asking if I mind that the dish is spicy and fishy. There were red pepper flakes and some anchovy paste. I stuck to my ordering guns, as my second and third choices were already coming to the table. When the dish arrived it was so flavorful and complex. The heat and the fishiness worked together perfectly and I was amazed by all of the squash blossoms I uncovered in the dish. The truth is that homemade pasta, while delicious, isn’t all that interesting. It  is simply flour, water, eggs, and salt but what makes pasta delicious is the toppings. My dish was accessorized beautifully, which is funny because Minty told me long ago that the number one way to attract a gay boyfriend was big and bold accessories. My dish worked it and I fell in love.

I am sure people have very low expectations for “authentic” Italian restaurants in California, let alone in the Castro and yet this place totally delivered. Our waiter had a real Italian accent, the bread was made on site: fresh and warm, and the quality of the olive oil was superb. You feel like you are in someone’s house, the place is quaint and Italian black and white movies are projected on the wall. We ordered a dessert that is not worth mentioning because the chocolate, olive oil, and chili pepper were all kinds of off but I would definitely return here for some fantastic Italian food. The men in the location aren’t bad to look at either. The table of boys next to us were as drool-worthy as the food. And when someone at that table mentioned that he could lose 7lbs in a week everyone in the  tiny restaurant had ears that perked up. The food and the atmosphere was homey and the carb-loading seemed to do wonders for the night of Lemon Drops and dancing to Enrique on the dance floor ahead of us. I still need to visit all of the Italian restaurants in San Francisco that rhyme with my name: Deflina and Farina, but Poesia set the bar very high and I am thrilled to have this place nearby. If you are looking for an Italian love poem in your mouth, then go to Poesia,

Poesia

4072 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhood: Castro

www.poesiasf.com

The Minty

Castro: Poesia + Gays and Dolls in SF

http://theminty.com/2010/08/23/castro-poesia-gays-dolls-in-sf/

My Serpentine Tongue says, YUM! SF Food Bloggers Unite

25 Aug

In Los Angeles, I found my dining crew. These were the people that never raised an eyebrow when my plate was photographed from multiple angles prior to being tasted. The same people that would never gasp at my need to have a cocktail, appetizer and dessert with every entree. These dining companions were comprised of food bloggers, Twits that like TwEAT Ups, Yelpers, and all around foodies. Friendships are fantastic but people to share reservations with are just as good. I was told very early on that food bloggers in SF didn’t have the same traditions. Blame it on the minimal PR dinners and the recipe bloggers versus restaurant bloggers in San Francisco. Anyway, the day on Twitter that we organized a food blogger and twEATer dinner was very exciting for me. I think I even marked the occasion with a hashtag saying #incestsurvivor in regards to making the SF food blogging community as close as the LA one. When choosing the restaurant for this very special occasion, I went back to a great LA find: Blackboard Eats. These 30% off codes at the hottest restaurants in town were almost always present at our blogger dinners and I made it an invitee at the SF version. I believe it was the day that I moved to San Francisco that Blackboard Eats San Francisco launched, am I lucky girl or what? We all decided on the restaurant Serpentine because none of us had ever been there and we had a valid BBE code.

I was the first to arrive and I ordered a cocktail, the Whiskey Smash, both excited and nervous to be joined by a table full of foodies. The second guest to arrive was The Dapper Diner, who has become my local #1 dining companion. The third was Tao of Pao who is an awesome food writer, runner, and burger enthusiast. And lastly was Kels Eats who covers Californian cuisine and is a self-described goat butter addict. We had all the pieces of the puzzle and in correct foodie fashion we all got started with a cocktail, appetizer, and entree to share amongst the table.

Well, I was never one to follow rules too correctly so on top of my regular appetizer I also ordered the Assortment of Pickled Vegetables. I am a sucker for anything acidic, remember I am the girl who has the dream of having the most extensive vinegar cellar in my home. The yogurt honey and pepper dip cut the vinegar perfectly and the veggies were nice and cool with that perfect crunch. I was so excited about this dish that I demanded that everyone try the cauliflower or the beet. It is always in these foodie setting where I feel most comfortable. When I say that I have always wanted to take a pickling class I get an understanding nod from across the table, I am not alone in my weirdness.

The other real joy in dining with nothing but foodies at your table is that you get to try it all. Both the Chickpea Battered Calamari and the Serpentine Meat Board were things that I want to try but they weren’t on my short list. With the help of more diners and people with big appetites, I was able to have it all. Some of the highlights on the meat board were the duck prosciutto and the pork pate.

The appetizer that I had my heart set on from the start was the O’Henry Peach & July Red Nectarine Salad with house-cured pancetta, mint, toasted hazelnuts, elderflowers, and champagne vinaigrette. It was the perfect summer salad and I was happiest that this plate was closest to me.

If there is one thing about SF dining it is that, it is all seasonal and local so it is more than common to see the same dishes on many menus. The Dapper Dinner and I were happy to see our new friends Blistered Padron Peppers on the menu. They are currently featured in nearly every restaurant I have entered recently. Each time I have to eyeball them for awhile, gain courage, close my eyes and take a bite and then utter, “That’s not too bad (spicy) at all.”

My final cocktail of the night was the Kentucky Buck and let me just say that their version blows Rickhouse out of the house.

When it came to entrees Dapper Dinner had the Harissa Rubbed Sonoma Goat Shoulder Roulade and the two girls had the Prather Ranch Hamburger. The burger was extremely memorable and for me it was all about the pickled onions and the delicious Acme roll.

For my entree I had the Grilled California White Bass, which was served with corn, almonds and a basil pistou. It was light, fresh, and even minty. Do certain tastes bring up certain people for you? For me, for obvious reasons whenever I eat mint or drink mint tea (which is daily) I always think of The Minty. She is my LA food baller/crawler team captain. This meal was days before her arrival to SF to visit me and it set the tone in reminding me how lovely it is to dine with foodies. I actually just returned from my own visit to LA where I got to dine at the newly opened Test Kitchen LA, which is probably the coolest concept restaurant ever. Chefs get to come in and takeover a space for a night or a few days and do whatever they like. The night that I went with the Minty I was overwhelmed by just how many people I knew in the restaurant. Food bloggers, restaurant owners, bartenders, foodies and more united. The excitement was palpable, the  LA foodie community is tight as hell and we are family. I don’t have this yet in SF but I will make it my Mission Fruition because dining with foodies is just more fun. Serpentine has the motto: Honest Food, Classic Cocktails. For me, that is a perfect formula for bringing people (mainly foodies) together.

Serpentine
2495 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhoods: Dogpatch
(415) 252-2000

Frances SF: Pride All Around

8 Aug

Imagine this if you will: You are a little over a week in to living in a brand new city, you’re there on one of the city’s biggest event days, and with dinner plans at the hardest place to get a table in town. That entire situation was me at Frances on the first big day of Pride. I was walking from my new apartment to this restaurant that I knew very little about, except that it had a waiting list that was in the “months” time frame. My walk had me tweeting away as sports cars were blasting Bob Dylan, plums were falling off trees and onto my head, and I began seeing naked men in pink tutus on every block. I was invigorated. Being able to walk less than a mile through a maze of entertainment and energy to a fine dining establishment had me more than excited. The reservation was early and the excitement of Pride was just beginning to brew. If you can see from the main picture the restaurant is nestled just away from the heart of the Castro in subdued colors and minimal signage, but on this night to the right was a man with pink hair and short shorts and black angel wings.

My dining companion had to wrestle the special day parking situation and I was seated. My waiter was adorable as can be and when I said I wanted a cocktail but needed help deciding he recommended I’d get the Strawberry Fizz because today was such a festive day. The drink was refreshing, fruity, and full of champagne…all of my favorite things. The restaurant was modern, minimal, and a perfect juxtaposition to all of the excitement going on this day.

My dining partner The Dapper Diner joined me for dinner a few minutes later and I had been so busy perusing the menu that I knew exactly what we would have. One of the coolest things about Frances is their wine blends. You choose either red or white and  you get it in a glass pitcher, but the best part of all is that you only pay for what you drink, a dollar an ounce.

For me, the most interesting thing on the menu was the Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets served with maple creme fraiche. I loved the concept of this dish but unfortunately they weren’t as light as I would have liked and the dipping sauce was off. Perhaps our batch wasn’t straight out of the oven or something but I wasn’t in awe. However, this dish has such a potential and sounds so promising that I am sure I will always order it, even if I don’t absolutely love it.

The Panisse Frites on the other hand, a dish that I wasn’t that excited about, blew me away. The concept was simple, chickpea fritters that could be dipped like french fries into a Meyer lemon aioli and yet these were addictive little suckers. They were gorgeous to look at and the most awesome consistency, think of the smoothest mashed potatoes known to man.

The Dungeness Crab Salad, was yet another dish where Frances fooled Carina. This was an appetizer that we added to our order at the last minute, neither of us really thought much of the description. It was crab served with cherokee tomatoes, sweet herb vinaigrette, and baby lettuce. This dish was on my top 2 dishes of the night it was well-balanced, light, and perfectly dressed. It is funny because for the most part I thought I have reached the point in my life when I can look at a movie trailer, a dress on a rack, or a dish on a menu and know how it will fit and what I will love. I cannot tell you how exciting it is when I am more than surprised. Melissa Perello, the chef /owner of Frances, takes her dishes to places that can’t be captured by simple menu descriptions and therefore the element of surprise is always there. Perhaps this is why Fifth Floor received a Michelin Star under her leadership.

The White Corn Soup with shrimp, basil, and creme fraiche was all in the presentation. I was sure that this was going to be a favorite, but sadly it was not. It was a beautiful dish but the taste didn’t quite match the elegance of its description.

I am a sucker for pasta and will pretty much always order either mac and cheese or gnocchi on any menu when it is offered. The Ricotta Gnocchi with green garlic, english peas, and morels was denser than I would have liked and again didn’t match up to the perfection that was the crab salad.

For the entrée, I had the Herb Stuffed Guinea Hen, which was served creamy polenta, chanterelles, white corn and an apricot. This site is called Mission Fruition and I love all dishes with fruit components and this was quite good. The sauce was way too salty for me, as I am ultra-sensitive to salt but between the polenta and the apricot I was able to cut most of it. The mixture of light meat and dark wrapped together in crisped skin was perfection.

My dining partner had the Napa Valley Lamb with summer squash, baked ricotta, and braised lamb crespelle.

We finished off the meal with a shot, shot, shot, shot. At Frances they have these Market Shots, which according to them are: “Whatever we find at the market gets juiced, spiced and spiked.” On our night we had a delicious berry shot, which was a perfect end to the meal and got us ready for dessert.

For dessert we had the Bittersweet Chocolate Pot de Creme and the Almond and Semolina Crostata. I am a girl who likes my men like I my desserts: Fruity! So the chocolate belonged to my dining partner and let me tell you that it was as rich and decadent as can be. I wasn’t sure what to get on the dessert menu and nothing was really jumping out at me so I ordered the crostata basically because of the red plum, nectarine, and raspberries. It was also served with the most delicious English thyme ice cream. Once again, the dish that I was look forward to least was the dish that won my heart. The pastry on this dish was to die for, as was the fresh fruit and savory ice cream.

While were having dessert in this quiet tranquil little restaurant nestled in the Castro, all of the sudden we were shaking with the loud sounds of a gang of motorcycles riding by. I asked “Dykes on Bikes?” and within seconds the restaurant agreed and confirmed that it was Dykes on Bikes who just rolled through the streets. I smiled and when we were walking out I tweeted: “Dykes on bikes just rode in front of @FrancesSF. I love San Francisco fine dining.” The next morning, I received a tweet back from the restaurant saying, “We love our neighborhood, too.” This was really the most fantastic restaurant and dining experience. Perhaps it was because of the excitement of Pride or me settling in to my new home but this is my number #1 on San Francisco restaurants. I may have had a more put together meal at Prospect but this was non-corporate and just felt like what you’d imagine a great San Francisco restaurant to be: fresh, local, neighborhoody, and full of great people and great food.  I was happy to learn that my favorite bookstore (Omnivore Books) owner took famed NYT food writer Frank Bruni to Frances when he was in town. I, in turn, will take my favorite foodie friend The Minty there on Friday when she is visiting from Los Angeles. If you want to see real SF Pride, they are serving it up beautifully at Frances SF.

Frances SF
3870 17th St
(between Pond St & Noe St)
San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhood: Castro

(415) 621-3870

frances-sf.com

The Dapper Diner

http://twitter.com/thedapperdiner

The Minty

http://twitter.com/theminty

http://theminty.com/