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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SFoodie's 92, Part 2: Our Favorite Things to Eat and Drink in S.F.

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 7:51 AM

No. 39, Hooker's sea salted dark chocolate caramels. - LARRY HALFF/FLICKR
We're recapping our four-month daily drop of our 92 favorite local dishes, a windup to today's big reveal of SF Weekly's Best Of San Francisco issue. In Part 1, we presented numbers 1 through 30; here, we relive the tasty in picks 31 through 61. (To complete the trilogy of gluttony, check out Part 3.)  Thanks to Jonathan Kauffman, Andrew Simmons, Mary Ladd, Tamara Palmer, and Carolyn Alburger for collaborating on this sprawling grub-a-thon. Ready, set, click.  

Breakfast, meticulously reworked. - LARRY HALFF/FLICKR

Number 31: Slow-Cooked Egg with Onion Cream and Smoked Dates from Commis

One of chef James Syhabout's favorite preliminary courses, which he sends out before the appetizer as part of Commis's prix-fixe meals, this dish applies a sort of gastronomic origami to the standard American breakfast of eggs, granola, and milk. The chef poaches an egg in the shell until the yolk reaches the precise temperature ― calibrated to the 10th of a degree, he says ― that gives it the texture of a semiripe brie, or a crème brûlée.

Syhabout then peels off the shell and runny white to uncover a perfect golden sphere. He sets the yolk in a foamy pool of onion soubise, recreating the look of a sunny-side-up egg, and garnishes the bowl with a teaspoon of toasted steel-cut oats and a few minced chives. When you dip your spoon through the yolk and foam, you dredge up a bit of smoked-date purée hidden underneath. Every bite brings some element of the dish to the fore ― the sting of the chives, the nutty crunch of the oats, the gentle wash of cream and caramelized onions, the luxurious sweetness of the dried fruit. It's an amuse-bouche that amuses the eyes, nose, and brain as well.

Commis 3859 Piedmont (at Rio Vista), Oakland, (510) 653-3902 

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