For this week's review, I visited Plate Shop in Sausalito, Kim Alter's first restaurant, where the veteran of Aqua, Manresa, and Ubuntu ― not to mention sometime waiter at Acquerello ― is unfurling her own sensibility.
Though she's not doing, say, pot roasts or fried chicken or meatloaf, to
me, Alter is working in a similar all-American vein as Citizen's Band
and Maverick (especially under its new chef). She tends to shy away from
the Cal-Med influence that dominates Bay Area food, and she doesn't use
a lot of acid or spice to set her flavors in relief, so they tend to
hit you head on. For all the subtle ticks she incorporates into the
dishes ― dots of mandarin puree in a winter salad, strips of
maple-cured fish bacon on a seared filet of char ― most of Plate Shop's
food comes off as very grounded.
I think Alter will really start
showing off in late spring and summer, when Plate Shop's backyard garden
takes off. I talked to Alter about it before finishing up the review,
and will post excerpts from our interview later today. In the meantime, check out Kimberly Sandie's Plate Shop slideshow.