Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cheap Wine Night at Maverick

Maverick, self-described as an American Eatery and Bar, is a charming, neighborhoody spot in the Mission which has various regular events, including Junk Food and Wine Pairings, as well as Cheap Wine Nights on Mondays. The already reasonable wine list is offered at a 40 percent discount, making some of the selections downright cheap. The space is small but simple, elegant and comfortable. The brick walls and clean lines work well with the muted colors of the tables and chairs and lend a somewhat airy vibe but still one that you want to be in. The food menu is fairly limited but certainly covers all of the bases. There are around 8 each of appetizers and entrees and a few desserts on offer. We dined last night on gorgeous mussels cooked in a white wine sauce with tasty and rich pancetta and served with several creamy dollops of a smoky aioli which was gorgeous with the luscious bivalves. We also shared a side of asparagus which was well-seasoned and served with a nice amount of butter but not too much. The stalks were delightfully crisp and were of a green color that you can only get with very fresh product. We also had the Southern Fried Chicken which is rich, crispy and utterly decadent. It's buttermilk-soaked Mary’s free range chicken served with bacony collard greens, Nora Mill “Georgia Ice Cream” grits, and brown chicken gravy which was obviously started from the luscious chicken drippings. We shared two bottles of white wine, a Grüner Veltliner Der Pallerhof Österreich from Austria followed by a Pinot Gris Claudia Springs from Anderson Valley. At $34 and $30 pre-discount they were both certainly a deal. The Gruner was nice and refreshing but a bit floral for our taste. We thoroughly enjoyed the Pinot. The staff is knowledgeable and courteous and definitely can enhance your dining experience in a positive way. All in all a great way to start off the week, and one that hopefully fits in with the budget as well. Enjoy.

3316 17th Street near Mission in SF

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

$1 Oyster Happy Hours

If you are a fan of happy hour and enjoy raw oysters, this post is for you. We are lucky to live in the Bay Area for all sorts of reasons, and certainly among them are the various $1 oyster happy hours we can enjoy. Cheers.

Cafe Maritime
One dozen oysters for $13 from 5:30 to 7p.m. Monday through Friday
2417 Lombard Street

$1 oysters from 5 to 7p.m. Tuesday through Friday
500 Florida Street

$1 oysters on Fridays from 4:30 to 6p.m.
448 Brannan Street

$1 oyster shooters from 4 to 7p.m. Monday through Friday
Embarcadero and Bay Streets

Eastside West Restaurant & Raw Bar
$1 oysters from 5 to 7p.m. Monday through Friday
3154 Fillmore Street

$1 oysters from 5:30 to 7p.m. Monday through Thursday
901 Cole Street

Hog Island Oyster Company
$1 oysters from 5 to 7p.m. Monday and Thursday
1 Ferry Plaza (in the Ferry Building)

Hyde Street Seafood House and Raw Bar
$1 oysters nightly from 5 to 7p.m.
1509 Hyde Street

O'Reilly's Holy Grail
$1 oysters from 4:30 to 7p.m. Monday through Friday
1233 Polk Street

$1 oysters from 5 to 7p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
2029 Market Street

Yabbies Coastal Kitchen
$1 oysters from 6 to 7p.m. Sunday through Wednesday
2237 Polk Street

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tasty Spring Dishes

Spring is such a lovely time of year, ahhh. Certainly for many reasons, not the least of which is the bounty of food items that come into season. Hope you take time out to enjoy these simple and tasty dishes that for me are perfect this time of year.

Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms, Chives and Fleur de Sel
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fleur de sel or other finishing salt (kosher salt is fine), to taste
Melt butter in a medium skillet. Sauté the mushrooms for 3 minutes, then add the chives and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Add eggs and black pepper. Cook the eggs over very low heat, stirring constantly, until cooked to the desired doneness. Add fleur de sel and scramble for just a few more seconds. Serve hot.

Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a big bowl of fresh tasty vegetables, cut into strips or chunks. Good choices are peppers, cauliflower, artichokes, celery, carrots, etc. Put olive oil in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Dip the vegetables into the oil and enjoy. You can also have other condiment options available - various types of mustards work well and balsamic vinegar is a nice touch. Pairs wonderfully with a crisp, dry white wine.

Chicken Breasts with Zucchini
4 chicken breasts, weighing a pound in total
10 ounces zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 sage leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of thyme
Small bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
Kosher salt
White pepper
An ounce of shredded Swiss or Fontina cheese
Heat the oil in a pot, and sauté the garlic and parsley for a minute or two. Before the garlic begins to brown add the zucchini. Cook for a few minutes more, then sprinkle a half cup of cool water over the pot, add a pinch of thyme, and salt to taste. Turn down the heat to as low as possible, cover, and cook the zucchini until they are done and the water has evaporated. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While it is warming up, lightly pound the chicken breasts and flour them, giving them a good shake to remove excess flour. Pick a pot large enough for the chicken breasts to lie flat that can go both on the stove and into the oven, and melt the butter with the leaf of sage. As soon as it begins to crackle add the chicken breasts and cook them until they begin to brown, turning them once or twice. Sprinkle them with the white wine, crumble the salt over them, and season them with pepper. When the liquid is reduced by two thirds, remove the pot from the fire. Scoop the zucchini over the chicken breasts, dust everything with the cheese, cover the pot, and slip it into the oven for about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a heated serving dish, spoon the pan drippings over them, and serve.