It’s not often you’re able to dine out with a chef. It’s even more rare that you’re able to dine at their restaurant with them. I don’t mean they’re working in the kitchen and come out to say hello to you. I mean, they are in their street clothes, coming in for dinner, to sit down with you, and to eat. Just like a normal person would.
I was lucky enough to eat with one of my good friends Jordan a few weeks ago at his restaurant, Alembic. My local San Fran peeps might recognize that name. And be thinking to themselves, “Isn’t that a bar?”. Well, yes. Alembic’s got a bar. A pretty well known one too. Daniel Hyatt’s the well known bartender at the helm of Alembic’s bar program and they serve some amazing drinks (please please please order the Southern Exposure!) But yes. They serve food. And it’s damn good food.
I sat down to dinner with Jordan, his girlfriend Vanessa, and another friend of mine, Olga. And without hesitation, we dug in. With one quick glance of the menu, I wanted to try everything. What jumped out at me? Literally all of it.
The beauty of eating out to me? Eating foods and dishes that are hard to recreate at home. So yes. While the endive-asian pear salad was amazing (ummm, can we say yuzu truffle honey??), I felt a little like, “I could tackle that at home.” I didn’t get the same feeling about the kobe beef tongue sliders. Nor the Indian spiced grilled chicken hearts. Both were amazing. And boy, do I wish I could make those chicken hearts at home. YUM!
Another delicious dish? Sweet and spicy boar jerky “Bulgogi.” So good to eat, and presented so beautifully. Our group of foodies of course wanted the bone marrow (cut long ways, the way I prefer bone marrow to be cut!), we tried the za’atar potato chips (my friend Olga LOVES the spice!), the shishito peppers (of course I ended up with two hot ones!), the pickled quail eggs (even me, the gal who doesn’t like anything pickled liked these!), goat cheese croquettes with romesco, kabocha squash tempura, crispy pork belly, and the miso glazed escolar.
Last, but certainly not least, I had my first experience with scrapple. What is scrapple you ask? Scrapple is made with ‘scrape pieces’ (offal if you will), and essentially cast into a terrine, and then sliced. I learned it’s served mainly on the East Coast, and is popular in Pennsylvania. Well, this West Coast, offal eating girl loved it. It was served on turnip greens, with a poached egg on top. Offal for breakfast basically. I’d go back every week for this dish. And umm, definitely not one I’d make at home. Even better.
It was a long night of good food, good cocktails, and friends enjoying it all together. How’s that for a good Wednesday night?