Monday, October 02, 2006

Tidbits Tidbits

So many little tidbits to share!

Keller's Ad Hoc is Open: From the SF Chron comes news that Thomas Keller's newest Napa restaurant, Ad Hoc, is open. Focusing on family style service and home-style favorites, the chefs are getting down the basics of perfect ingredients and amazingly prepared food. The idea of eating Thomas Keller pot roast is a fascinating one. Working with his chef from Bouchon, this newest concept will be open for six-months only. From the Chron:

The cuisine: Home-style American, Keller style: one four-course daily changing menu for $45. Family-style earthenware platters come with perfect amounts to share. The first night boasted an heirloom tomato salad fresh from the French Laundry garden and made-that-morning mozzarella; tri-tip smothered with a mix of olive oil-poached mushrooms served with corn on the cob and roasted piquillo peppers; a cheese course with Humboldt Fog, jewel-ripe figs and Marshall Farms honey; shortcakes with a bowl of stem-on strawberries and whipped vanilla bean cream.

The team: Thomas Keller, who also owns nearby French Laundry, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery. He and Bouchon chef Jeffrey Cerciello will oversee the kitchen, putting out soulful renditions of favorite childhood classics, such as beef stroganoff, fried chicken and pot roast.

Restaurant Gary Danko and French Laundry Top SF Zagat: The new Zagat is out in San Francisco and who nabbed those elusive scores this time around? The Chron reports Danko and Keller both earned 29 of 30. Boulevard (which has been hit or miss for me on my last few visits) nabbed the one of the number two spots. Also from the Chron:

Just one point behind were Cyrus, Chez Panisse, Marinus (Carmel Valley) and Kaygetsu (Palo Alto). On the popularity list, Danko came in first ahead of Boulevard, Slanted Door, French Laundry and Michael Mina. New to the top 10 was Kokkari Estiatorio, while Chez Panisse dropped from sixth to 10th and Chez Panisse Cafe dropped from fifth to 11th. Ame (San Francisco) and Redd (Yountville), were the top-ranked new restaurants.
Most interesting to me were the comments on service and tipping. Who would think Californian have bigger issues with tipping than, say, New Yorkers.

Bay Area diners surveyed eat an average of 3.2 meals out a week, just under Zagat's national average. Their biggest gripe is service, picked by 66 percent -- and they show it in their tipping, which at 18.4 percent is tied with Los Angeles as the worst among Zagat survey areas.

Hmmm. Meat on a Stick! Sure, I'm a food snob, but I love a good deepfried treat any day. This might not qualify, but based on last month's declaration by the New York Times food section that pigs-in-a-blanket are back, I'd think this fits right in! Enter Breakfast on a Stick from Jimmy Dean! Why did it take this long for someone to think of this? Was it due the arbiters of taste, the NY Times food editors, finally telling us it was OK to like little sausages wrapped in pancakes? Either way, I'm hooked. Chocolate chip included. From Slashfood.

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