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Friday, September 4, 2015

Caskhouse's Porchetta Sandwich in A Wonderful Craft Beer Pub Setting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 12:30 PM

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli

This is my kind of bar. 

I've lived on 24th Street in Noe Valley for six years. When I moved to the 'hood, my best friend Paul and his wife were already living around the corner, so I had friends nearby from the day I arrived. Twenty-Fourth Street is my favorite little section of San Francisco. Paul and I would walk up and down, laughing about how "If we only had a craft beer pub with food in the 'hood, man, we'd have it all here!"

So one day, about three years ago, a "Change of Ownership" popped up on the window of the recently departed Joe's 24th St. Cafe (on the corner of 24th and Vicksburg streets), listing "Crafthouse" as the business name.

"Holy shit!" we thought. "Could this be it?!" 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hamlet Will Modernize an Intriguing Corner of Noe Valley

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 4:15 PM

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli

Look...I know that Daniel Patterson announcing today that he's leaving Coi has San Francisco up in arms, but it's gonna be okay, I promise. If only because come September, John Dampeer of Noe Valley's Caskhouse (my very favorite brewpub) will be opening Hamlet just down the street on the busy corner of Church and 24th, right by the J-Church stop. 

Dampeer plans to completely gut and renovate the space that was previously occupied by Horner's Corner and the popular Noe's Bar/Basso's before that. Great news from where I'm standing, as a modernization is exactly what that space needs.

"We're creating a whole new environment. It won’t be anything that’ll resemble the old space," Dampeer told SF Weekly. (He's the beefy one in the photo above.) "New bar, new floors. It won’t be a pub atmosphere at all, just a modern California style eatery, with a combination of small plates and entrees." 

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

La Nebbia Releases Meat Flights

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 8:00 AM

The Spaniards: Iberico (18 mos.), Serrano (18 mos.), Lomo (18 mos.) - DESOGOS.COM
  • desogos.com
  • The Spaniards: Iberico (18 mos.), Serrano (18 mos.), Lomo (18 mos.)

I was quite enamored with La Ciccia spinoff La Nebbia when I reviewed it back in March, though I did wish you could order assorted salumi instead of just one version at a time. Now we're in luck! There are three new salumu plates on the menu, all highlighting a different region.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Porcellino Pesto Brings Comfort Even for Vegetarians

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 7:38 AM

porcellino_pesto.jpg
A lot has been written about comfort food lately on this blog. One thing that most people can dig – and dig into – in trying times is a big bowl of pasta. At Porcellino in Noe Valley, you can have the expected porky option: rigatoni with Incanto’s pork ragu (Incanto being the former, and more formal, iteration of this corner restaurant).

Pork is expected because, as the name implies, Porcellino loves every part of the pig. There are chicharrones to start, followed by salumi platters from chef/owner Chris Cosentino’s Boccalone Salumeria, and lard-fried potatoes and porchetta hoagies. A mural featuring salumi stretches along one wall. But even if you don’t share the same enthusiasm for pork, you can still eat very well at Porcellino.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inside Cookie Time: Organic Treats on a Truck

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Marina Snetkova bakes on her truck, Cookie Time. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Marina Snetkova bakes on her truck, Cookie Time.

Marina Snetkova used to wake up at 5 a.m. for her Wall Street job as a day trader for a hedge fund; now she rises at the same time to hop in her truck to start baking.

After losing her job in 2008, Snetkova, who is originally from Latvia, started traveling west with dreams to open a wine bar with desserts and use her skills learned at pastry school. She wound up in San Francisco and, two weeks ago, unveiled a refurbished ice cream truck dubbed Cookie Time.

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La Ciccia Chef Massimiliano Conti's Recipe for Spicy Octopus Stew

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Baby octopus stew - ALANNA HALE
  • Alanna Hale
  • Baby octopus stew

Part 3 of an interview with Massimiliano Conti, chef of La Ciccia. Part one of the interview is here. Read part two here.

All too often, octopus becomes rubbery when cooked and thus intimidates those trying to prepare the cephalopod at home. Massimiliano Conti's method for his famed baby octopus stew in spicy tomato broth involves a simple braise that ensures an impressively tender outcome.

The following recipe can be used for calamari or other types of seafood or even meats, but you will need adjusting cooking times according to the type of fish/meat you are cooking. Conti suggests a Monica di Sardegna - a Sardinian wine, of course - as a pairing for the dish.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Q&A With La Ciccia's Massimiliano Conti, Part 2: On Sardininan Food, and Working With Your Wife

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM

ALANNA HALE
  • Alanna Hale
Born and raised in the southern part of Sardinia, Massimiliano Conti -- chef-owner of La Ciccia in Noe Valley -- was 14 when started he culinary school and 18 when he joined the Princess Cruise Line to travel the world and meet his future wife. After stints in Tuscany, Chianti, and Washington, D.C., Max and Lorella moved to San Francisco in 1996. It then took 10 years to find the right space for what is now a cherished neighborhood restaurant.

In part 1 of SFoodie's interview with the chef, Max talked about his childhood in Sardinia. Tomorrow, he shares the recipe for one of La Ciccia's most popular dishes.

SFoodie: How do you think La Ciccia fits into the dining scene in SF?

Conti: Our ultimate goal is to bring the best that Sardinia has to offer to San Francisco. We want to be able to do that on many different levels. Not just with the food, not just with the wine, but also to open the doors to people to Sardinia so that maybe you decide, Hey, instead of going to Florence this year, let's spend a week in Sardinia and see what it's all about. That is my ultimate goal.

What are some defining characteristics of Sardinian cuisine?

Because we are an island in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, you would think seafood is very important, but actually, seafood didn't become part of the culture until the Spanish colonization. The heart of Sardinian culture and cuisine is based on the land. Lots of grains, vegetables, and animals like goat, lamb, rabbit, and wild game. The coast was a dangerous place. Being an island, everybody wants to conquer you. Many invaders would use Sardinia as a base to spend some time and restore themselves before continuing on to other parts of Europe.

Does their influence show up in the cuisine?

Yes, definitely. Think of bottarga: cured, salted fish comes from the Arab colonization. Saffron from North Africa. The use of raisins, of sweet and sour - even a dish like fregola [a pearl-like pasta] reminds you a lot of couscous. The colonizers brought new things to this very ancient land, which through the years became part of Sardinian culture.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Early Bird Special: Contigo

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Contigo - JEN SISKA
  • Jen Siska
  • Contigo

After scarfing pork-belly bocaditos and octopus salad at Contigo in Noe Valley, SF Weekly food critic Matthew Stafford gets all dreamy thinking about the vacay he took in Barcelona. Stafford thinks chef-owner Brett Emerson gets all the details right in this local simulacrum of the Catalan tapas bar. Drool over the full review later today at sfweekly.com. Meantime, here's a taste:

The similarities between the Bay Area and Catalonia are striking. Both regions have a fierce independent streak and derive much of their identity from the nearness of the sea. Both are dominated by cities renowned for their leafy, hilly charm and footloose sophistication. And both enjoy a proximal larder of seasonal produce, game, and seafood practically unmatched anywhere in the world ... and the wherewithal to enjoy them absolutely. Contigo, a new Catalan restaurant in Noe Valley, is a fine example of this duality in action. Here, specialties from Spain's northeastern reaches are prepared and served in an environment as lively and attractive as any Barcelona bodega, using foodstuffs sourced from Straus Family Creamery, Monterey Fish Market, Star Route Farm, and 42 other all-organic dairies, ranchers, and fisherfolk from our own back yard.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tentative Menu for Incanto's Head to Tail Dinners

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 5:17 PM

incanto_home_logo.gif
Chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto (1550 Church) has published the tentative menu for the restaurant's sixth annual Head to Tail dinners, coming up on Monday and Wednesday, March 23 & 25 ($75, reservations advised):
  • Venison heart tartare, foie gras and ciccioli brioche
  • Goose intestines with fava beans and artichokes
  • Big brain, little brain with asparagus
  • Cordedda (Sardinian lamb intestine) with peas, mint, and sheep's milk polenta
  • Coffee and Doughnuts: pork liver, blood, chocolate, espresso
Chef Cosentino held an essay contest to select two cooks who would stage (intern, more or less) for the dinners. Read the winning entries here.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Incanto Now Serving Sunday Brunch

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 1:00 PM

JAMES SANDERS
  • James Sanders
From Incanto's mailing list:

We are pleased to announce that this Sunday, February 8, we will begin offering a weekly Sunday Brunch at Incanto.

The menu will showcase the best of Incanto

and will prominently feature Boccalone meats including all of

Boccalone's fresh sausages, guanciale, pancetta, and sanguinaccio.

This Sunday's menu will include a black truffle mortadella panino with

potato-leek salad, house-milled whole wheat polenta with poached farm

egg, and a brunch version of our legendary handkerchief pasta.  We will

also feature Incanto's award-winning Italian wine program and a not-to-be-missed Roman Bloody Maria.

Hours of service will be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Reservations

accepted only for parties of 6 or more persons -- we encourage you to

stop by and pay us a visit!


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