Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Jon Laws generously substituted traditional presents for the next three years of birthdays and Christmas to give us loot for dining out in San Francisco. He picked two restaurants - A16 and the legendary Chez Panisse.
We went to A16 for dinner on Sunday night, an Italian joint known for it's wood-fired pizzas. There were several highlights of the night: prosciutto tasting, Lisa's funghi pizza, and the pistachio honey gelatto.
The prosciutto tasting featured three different varieties from the states. The first was done in a traditional style. The second was a Berkshire variety that was quite a bit fattier than the others and was ranked a distant third by both Isaac and myself. The last sample was spectacular - a traditional proscuitto that was acorn finished. There was a noticeable difference with far more complexity and depth of flavors.
Lisa's choice of funghi pizza was spectacular and all agreed was the best entree of the evening. At least 3-4 mushroom types were *roasted* and combined with smoked mozzarella, grana padano, garlic, oregano, wild arugula. The arugula instead of being baked in was added on top after baking which was absolutely perfect. The roasting of the mushrooms, which none of us had seen before, intensified their flavor without turning them into a dripping mess as is usually the case with most cooked mushrooms.
Dessert was a chocolate tart with olive oil and sea salt. If any of you haven't tried the awesome combination that is chocolate + olive oil let me know and I'll get you a recipe to try. Unfortunately, the tart needed a much darker chocolate to balance the strong salt and olive oil flavors. Dessert was rescued with excellent pistachio honey gelato that will be replicated at home :-)
The four of us at A16 -
*stay tuned for chez panisse report*