Sunday, September 16, 2018


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San Francisco, September 15, 2018—

ZUNI IS A FAVORITE place of ours — I've dropped in from time to time since almost the beginning, which was in 1979, always enjoying the location and the ambiance and the vibrant personality — and the cuisine.

We'd spent an hour or two in the somewhat overwrought repressed sensuality of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood exhibition at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and it was time to relax with an excellent Martini and a late lunch and a couple of dear old friends, and Zuni was the place that came immediately to mind.

I looked longingly at the oysters — a remarkable selection — but turned instead to a promised crépinette, pan-fried I think and served with shell beans, sautéed grapes, and what I recall — writing this the next day — as bok choy, or something of the sort, sweet and toothy.

The crépinette seemed to me lacking in the caul fat that seems to me obligatory. My first experience with crépinette was with those made and sold at the old Pig By the Tail, the charcuterie opened in 1973 across the street from Chez Panisse by my then tennis partner and occasional sparring partner Victoria Wise, the opening-night chef at Chez P. Crépinettes were a staple there, consistently absolutely first-rate, the right weight, texture, size, and complexity, and always wrapped in caul fat.

Well, this crépinette was not Victoria's, but it was very nice, well balanced between meat and spices, and the partnering grapes and beans were inspired.

     🍷Morgon, Marcel Lapierre, 2015

IMG 0917 2And for dessert, Parmesan cheese with dates, a Judy Rodgers standby — how we miss that woman! — with a glass of Averna amaro. Because, well, why not?

•Zuni Café, 1658 Market Street, San Francisco; 📞415-552-2522

THAT WAS YESTERDAY. Today we dined on that marvelous Italian salad: cannelini, onions, sage, salt, and olive oil. It's a favorite. Green salad afterward, and fruit, et moi je suis content.

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

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