We've been watching Top Chef Just Desserts religiously, and since Episode 1 we've been crushing hard on local pastry chef Yigit Pura. He's young, adorable, has an accent, and can bake, cream, and melt the most hardened among us. Last week he let Gail and the rest of us ladies down easy, saying if he played for our team he'd be making chocolate soufflés for us all the time like he does for his boyfriend.
it he gets better ...
You see, about 80 percent of food bloggers in the world are women, but of the balance, about 80 percent of male food bloggers are gay. So while the conference lures a predictable parade of cupcake devotees topped with a liberal sprinkling of SQUEEEEE, it's also bringing together an unprecedented collective of gay foodie minds. In fact, this may be the gayest food happening since James Beard, Craig Claiborne, and James Villas took brunch at the Continental Baths in 1975. Okay, I made that part up.
Of course, there's no shortage of gay food bloggers already here in San Francisco. Like me, for example.
Venturing out of SOMA's hipster bubble can severely cramp one's style. Some of us have boyfriends or girlfriends engaged in "normal" jobs, taking them to places in the city that most of us avoid like the plague. We're talking about Union Square.
The utter nonsense of formula restaurants yields places as bleak and uninspired as The Cheesecake Factory. Still, Union Square does have some surprises beyond the lame tourist offerings. Take the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus.
His first question will probably be, "Wait, a macaroon is one of those dried-up coconut cookies that shows up around the holidays, right?" Nice try. Tell him that macarons are complex and difficult-to-make almond cookies filled with infused ganache or jam. Tell him these little gems are the haute couture of pastry. If that fails, tell him they're French Oreos.
A relationship can drone on without igniting the necessary spark to keep it burning. Wondering about what to do for dinner with your no-longer-quite-as-special someone can be daunting, but you could skip the lazy, order-in-pizza option and pounce on the opportunity to do something a little less than ordinary at Chow on Church.
Chow is justly celebrated as a reliable neighborhood restaurant serving classic comfort food since 1997. Sure, we've all been to Chow for spaghetti and meatballs. But there's one simple dish that just might charm your fading lover: the wood-fired pizzette.
Our favorite, the prosciutto ($10.75), is a well-crafted mini pizza still big enough for splitting (pizzas come in a larger size, too, but nothing says don't sleep with me like hauling out a box of leftovers). Its 8 to 10 inches come abundantly blanketed with paper-thin slices of prosciutto and arugula above a nicely bubbly crust. The state of a pizza's crust is everything, and Chow's puts "properly tossed" to the test. We've never had a soggy one.
There are times when "going out on a date" can veer off into a genuine dining experience. L'Ardoise can be like that. Shielded from Market Street's endless commotion ― not to mention the endless flirtations of the Castro Boy directed at your date, whether he happens to be gay or not ― L'Ardoise is the kind of place where you probably won't have to compete for your dining partner's attentions.
The restaurant is situated in Duboce Triangle, on a tree-lined backstreet reminiscent to one of the quieter arrondissements of Paris. The French-speaking staff leads you into a dimly lit dining room, where couples woo and wandering eyes peer over a classic French menu ranging from foie to confit. The room has a quaintness that manages to avoid being stifling, even if the tables are close enough so that it's hard to avoid ogling the food going out to the couples all around you.
Bears, leathermen, clones: the Castro's long been known as a neighborhood of self-expression, not culinary revelation. Last year, that began to change. SFoodie's spent Pride Week highlighting some of our favorites, both new and old. Here, as a guide to the weekend that's the queer equivalent of Christmas and Halloween and the Folsom Street Fair all rolled into one, we offer 10 of our favorite things to eat and drink in America's gayborhood. Happy Pride, everybody.1. Applewood-smoked bacon beignets at Frances
If you don't have a rezzie this weekend (or next weekend, or the weekend after that...), forget it: chef Melissa Perello's iconic bouchée, or pre-first course nibble ― warm, savory doughnut holes fragrant with bacon smoke ― will be as unattainable as that torso model grinding to some "Poker Face" remix in front of the dance stage at Civic Center Sunday. But just think: You can taste the beignets, eventually, if you're patient. Try saying that about the torso model.
Frances 3870 17th St. (at Pond), 621-3870.
Ice cream will reach new heights of gayness this weekend as two parlors dish up special flavors for San Francisco Pride. Haighteration reported earlier this week that Three Twins will be serving Rainbows are Gay sherbet, Pink Triangle, Pride Vanilla, Hot Cookie (using product from the Castro mainstay), lavender, Don't Ask Don't Tell ("vanilla with blueberry dessert from military rations"), Salted Nuts, and Rice Milk Harvey Milk and Cookies. In La Mission, Humphry Slocombe will of course be scooping its exquisite limited-edition Harvey Milk and Honey Graham Crackers. The flavor was officially commissioned by Equality California for Harvey Milk Day last month, when it sold out in three hours, and is back for this special occasion.
Pull over, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, and head west for Big Gay Ice Cream Weekend.
Humphry Slocombe 2790 Harrison (at 24th St.), 550-6971.
Three Twins 254 Fillmore (at Haight), 487-8946.
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