Capo’s

26 02 2013

Extra, Extra, ReadAllAboutIt! Capo’s Now Open in North Beach!

Say that in, like, one of those Dick Tracy Chicago gangster accents to get the full gist of what’s happening in that sentence, y’shee. Capo’s is the newest gig from world champion pizza tosser Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napolitana, one of the famous SF pizza joints (also the owner of Pyzano’s in Castro Valley). This time he’s gone old school with Capo’s — red patent leather booths, brick walls, and mood lighting chandeliers. And a specialization in Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I can dig it.

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I really liked this place. It’s busy. There’s a very nice, posh bar. The booths are plush as shit. The menu is awesome and a bit quirky for a pizza place. The wait staff is courteous and attentive. The food is fattening and delicious.

What was surprising to me was the portion sizes. They’re immense. Not chic SF style at all. But not unwelcome either, except to my unsuspecting belly. We ordered two appetizers and one 13″ deep dish to share between four people. We asked the waiter if that was enough food and he replied emphatically, “oh yeah”. Which alarmed us a bit. Then they brought unsolicited soup, Banchero’s style. It was welcome and yummy. Then our appetizers came.

Baked artichokes in spinach and provolone cream

Baked artichokes in spinach and provolone cream

The first appetizer to arrive was the baked artichokes. I didn’t really read on the menu where it said “in spinach and provolone cream”, which is mostly what it was. It was basically artichoke dip. I kinda wished they’d just said that on the menu. But it was still delicious. I think it probably took two years off my life, and my arteries were screaming in horror, but I just laughed and ate. Delicious.

Garlic bread with mozzarella... $5.95!!!

Garlic bread with mozzarella… $5.95!!!

Next arrived our garlic bread with mozzarella cheese. Which I thought would be a paltry few slices of lightly-cheesed bread. Cue comically surprised expression. It was more like a whole loaf worth of bread with a pound of cheese on it. It was amazing and ridiculous. And amazingly ridiculous when slathered in the aforementioned artichoke dip. Double heart attack challenge: accepted.

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Last, but not least, was our pizza. We ordered the Frank Nitti, though we didn’t get the reference. It was only 13″ diameter, but it weighed as much as a bowling ball. And it felt relatively similar to that in your stomach. I was not terribly hungry when we arrived (idiot). I ate two helpings of soup and our all-carb appetizers. I could not even get through my one slice of five-pound pizza. It was ridiculous. And good. And ridiculous.

Overall, I loved the place. The pizza wasn’t as good as Little Star, imho, but the menu was a good enough rival and the atmosphere was better. Also, Capo’s is like four blocks from my house and Little Star (either one) is way across town. So. I will take some Capo’s anytime.

Side notes: I want to try the thin crust next time. And, if you’re going, they only take cash. Come prepared or use their ATM machine.

Capo's on Urbanspoon





Chaya

18 02 2013

Behold: Chaya.

The awesome thing about having a food blog in SF is that it’s no longer necessary to write bad reviews of restaurants. There’s just too much good stuff here to waste time on sub-par food. Chaya is one of the best places I’ve been in a while.

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It’s mom’s birthday. More than a pony, she wants a nice meal at an upscale restaurant — preferably with a view of the water — and a fun night with her daughters. Choosing a restaurant is always difficult, but we settled on Chaya, though none of us had been there before.

Chaya is on Embarcadero across the street and a bit south from the Ferry Building. It has large windows that look directly out onto the Bay Bridge. The atmosphere is fancy but not pretentious. The menu is amazing.

Our entrance involved unexpectedly squeezing all three of us into one revolving door compartment. The hostess said she’s never seen anyone do that. Well, we’re from Hayward, so, there’s that. We should not be trusted to act normal in public. Thankfully they still served us.

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The food is French/Japanese. Weird, right? Literally everything on the menu looked amazing. They have lots of creative seafood dishes, salads, sushi, steaks, and amazing sides. Oddly, there were no mains for strict vegetarians, though there were a few appetizers, sides, and a small sushi section.

Bottles of wine were half off on Sundays, #win. We ordered a sushi roll starter to share, mom and I ordered the same cod dish for dinner, and sister ordered filet mignon. At the recommendation of the waiter, we could not resist sharing the macaroni and cheese side to share as well. There were literally no complaints about anything. It was all amazing.

San Francisco Roll: crab, shrimp (cooked), avocado, cucumber, tomato, asparagus, soy paper

San Francisco Roll: crab, shrimp (cooked), avocado, cucumber, tomato, asparagus, soy paper

Soy Glazed Local Black Cod: hijiki brown rice, tempura green beans, baby bok choy

Soy Glazed Local Black Cod: hijiki brown rice, tempura green beans, baby bok choy

Angus Filet Mignon: fingerling potatoes, creamed swiss chard, black truffle sauce

Angus Filet Mignon: fingerling potatoes, creamed swiss chard, black truffle sauce

Fontina Macaroni Cheese with white truffle oil

Fontina Macaroni Cheese with white truffle oil

Particularly ridiculously amazing was the creamed chard with the filet and the rice that came with the cod. I could have eaten an entire vat of either. Yeah, I just made something delicate and delicious sound gross. Sorry.

Dessert was chocolate croissant bread pudding for me and sis, a nice port wine for mom.

Chocolate croissant bread pudding with caramel ice cream

Chocolate croissant bread pudding with caramel ice cream

Mains are around $30 each, appetizers in the $12-$20 range. The half price bottle of wine saved us $25, and the whole endeavor was appropriately priced for the quality of the experience. Certainly not an every-week affair, but completely perfect for a special occasion. Ten stars.





The Corner Store

9 02 2013

This adorable little gem opened up not long ago at the corner (ah, hence The Corner Store) of Masonic and Geary in the Inner Richmond, SF. It’s classic San Francisco with a quirky little menu, fun cocktails, and a cute space. I’ve been twice. This time, I was really happy, see?

Yeay, food!

Yeay, food!

There aren’t actually a lot of veg options on the menu, unfortunately, but I found something out the second time I went: they’ll make non-veg things veg if you ask. Because they’re chefs and that shiz doesn’t phase them. I love this city.

This is the beet salad. I thought it would be mostly beets. But it wasn’t. It was better than that. Cuz the corner store doesn’t mess around. Not even with beets.

Roasted Beets (salad)

Roasted Beets (salad)

This is the smoked salmon with rye flatbread and dill creme fraiche (hold the pastrami gastrique, whatever that is). It was yummmm.

Smoked salmon

Smoked salmon

And this is the veg dish du jour (or du mois, as it were) which was some sort of grains with mushrooms and cheese. I don’t recall the exact description, but it sounded like it would be risotto-esque, and it was except that the grains were less tender and more distinct in form. It was really good.

Grains and mushrooms and sauce, oh my!

Grains and mushrooms and sauce, oh my!

My second trip was for a blogger event hosted by Urbanspoon. Which meant they paid for a variety of dishes to be brought out to about fifteen local bloggers hungry for photos as much as for food. It was awesome; I love free food. Highlights:

Starting with the best first: this is a new kale concoction that’s not currently on the menu. They asked for our recommendations regarding the dish’s introduction to the menu. My thoughts: YES PLEASE. The kale was deep fried, crispy and likely bereft of any nutritional value it once held. It was amazing. Those balls perched on top? Panko-crusted, deep-fried poached egg. Yes, the chef somehow managed to deep fry a poached egg and keep the inside runny. He described the process to us (yeah, we got an exclusive with the chef and owner, no big): amazing.

Kale 'n stuff

Kale ‘n stuff

This is the “Corner Store PB&J”, an odd dish that I normally would have nothing to do with as it’s covered in bourbon-glazed pork. But, being the kitchen-savvy folk they are, they brought out a veggie version with mushrooms instead of pork. Mushrooms over a grit cake with huckleberry as the “J”. Ridiculous. Incredible.

PB&J: The real thing with pork

PB&J: The real thing with pork

I single-handedly destroyed the veggie version. And I'd do it again.

I single-handedly destroyed the veggie version. And I’d do it again.

And I learned something that night: “sweetbreads” are not in fact bread. Indeed they’ve gone the opposite direction as “offal” and made a confusingly appetizing name. Regardless, everyone said they tasted like chicken wings.

Sweetbreads. Don't ask.

Sweetbreads. Don’t ask.

We were even presented the Idaho Red Trout dish, along with a handful of other salads and mains to feast on. It was a pretty amazing night.

Trout in the house

Trout in the house

Oh! And listen to this: their Pickled Paloma cocktail consists of tequila, lime, pickle brine, and house grapefruit soda. Yeah, it’s a cocktail that tastes like a pickle. It was amazing. Note: three is too many. Even if they’re free. Enjoy.

The Corner Store on Urbanspoon








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