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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mitchell Rosenthal's 2011 Food Find: Roast Chicken and Super-Fresh Fish

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM

  • Paige Green/Cooking My Way Back Home
  • Mitchell Rosenthal.

SFoodie is calling up food types around the city to ask them about their favorite discovery of the past year, whether it's new or ancient, an ingredient or a person. We'll be running their responses through the end of the year.

​Mitchell Rosenthal, executive chef and co-owner of the Town Hall-Anchor & Hope family of restaurants, just returned from a national tour promoting his first cookbook, Cooking My Way Back Home. When SFoodie asked Rosenthal how his 2011 was, he replied, "Busy!" What with the new book and Corners Tavern, the restaurant he's preparing to open in Walnut Creek, "busy" seems like an understatement.

Although he doesn't have much time to eat out, Rosenthal says, "the one new place I ate that I thought was great is Roostertail. [Owners] Gerard and Tracy used to work for me at Postrio. I had the roast chicken and the brisket there, and they were good -- really, really good. I'm 51 now, so I watch what I eat, so it was great to see the food was healthy, too." 

Rosenthal also says that the restaurant he ate at the most often in 2011 was Aziza. "For the level of cooking you get there, it's not very expensive -- and it's an extremely high level of cooking. I think I ate there three times in a month and a half, and each time was great. That's hard to achieve, even in good restaurants."

Rosenthal says that, although he's generally not the person on staff who searches out new ingredients or suppliers, "there's this fish guy, Joe Conte [of Water2Table], who's bringing in unbelievable stuff. He gets some of his fish from the usual sources, but he also deals with a lot of local fisherman, so he'll bring in sea bass that's crazy fresh -- it's still in rigor mortis! -- and beautiful. It's exciting to see fish at that level, because fish is hard to come by right now. Conte's an outgoing guy, and when he comes by with his refrigerated truck, people rush out to see what he's got on it."

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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