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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early Bird Special: Il Cane Rosso

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM

click to enlarge Marin Sun Farms beef sugo over creamy polenta. - J. BIRDSALL
  • J. Birdsall
  • Marin Sun Farms beef sugo over creamy polenta.
An early nibble from the Weekly's Wednesday food review.

If Manhattan ramen king David Chang taught us anything, it's this: Northern California's ingredient-centric cooking vernacular can seem like gibberish to outsiders. If you'd begun to internalize the knock that local chefs are skilled at not much more than arranging figs on dinnerware, Il Cane RossoDaniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino's overgrown rotisserie kiosk in the Ferry Building ― can restore your faith in the Bay Area's market-driven credo. Open since July, last month Cane Rosso began serving nightly three-course dinners: gorgeous suites of some of the tastiest, most meticulously raised meats and produce Northern Cali offers, with a hyper-seasonality that gives you a vivid taste of the here and now. Read the tasty particulars (by yours truly) later today at For a preview, check out SFoodie's paragraph-long excerpt (after the jump).

Lunch is the defining meal here. The porchetta ― thick slices of pinkish pork splotched with creamy fat and the mingled aura of fennel seed and garlic ― is irresistible. So is the sandwich of warm Soul Food Farm egg salad, hashed until creamy, with a breath of caper and anchovy, topped with a semi-molten square of aged Provolone. One day, a small bowl of autumn panzanella brought craggy, hand-torn croutons mixed up with soft roasted turnip edges, pancetta, and braised radicchio, all tossed with a powerfully tangy vinaigrette. A yogurt dressing laid down a similarly powerful wallop in a salad of Star Route Farms Little Gems with shaved fennel, pears, and blue cheese.

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