Special Oyster Day

Today is kind of a special day- we have 6 species of oyster in house. I know to some, big whoop, but to those in the oyster world this is kind of a big deal. We have the five domestically grown species, plus another from New Zealand. Known as the New Zealand Flat, we were one of the first in the U.S. to offer said oyster. We were one of only three in the U.S. to have it, and it should not be confused with the European Flat, which we also have.

Click on the image and it will lead to our Oyster 101 page, oyster knowledge is important.

Click on the image and it will lead to our Oyster 101 page, oyster knowledge is important.

To the left, Tio Point- Cloudy Bay ( T. chilensis)- hanging rope grown for two years near Blenheim; rare, flat oyster. To the right, Damariscotta Flat- Booth Bay Harbor ( O. edulis )- wild grown, European species, " Belon"; intense flavor, for the connoisseur. Two of the six species we have right now, did I mention how rare?

 

Parke and Justin's Take on Doughnuts

When one thinks of a doughnut, many things come to mind. I think Homer Simpson, some might think of the new craze cronut, but when Chef Parke and Justin think of doughnuts they are savory and possibly topped with caviar. To be more specific, it's a Bellwether Farms Jersey Ricotta Doughnut served with American caviar, sweet corn and yuzu curd. The caviar is harvested from wild paddlefish in the rivers of Tennessee, just so you know.

The one and only Ricotta Doughnuts topped with American Caviar

The one and only Ricotta Doughnuts topped with American Caviar

Here's the recipe if you're feeling adventurous and a little decadent:

Doughnuts:

1 1/2 cup AP flour

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups Ricotta

4 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

- whisk dry ingredients

- whisk ricotta, eggs and sugar

- whisk wet and dry mix

- scoop into 375° oil until golden brown

Sweet Corn Filling: 

grate the corn and slowly bake covered at 300° for 5 to 6 hours, based on starch content. Stir every 30 minutes.

transfer mix to a bowl and add mascrapone and salt

Yuzu- Lemon Curd:

6 ounces lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

zest of 2 lemons

2 whole eggs

4 egg yolks

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon yuzu juice

salt to taste

- heat lemon juice, sugar and zest to a boil, whisk to disolve

- whip whole aggs and yolks to full volume and until light in color

- temper hot mix into eggs and strain through chinoise back into pot

- whisk until desired thickness

- add yuzu juice and a pinch of salt

- cover with plastic so it's touching the top as to not allow a film

- bring to room temperature before refrigeration 

To serve, inject the doughnuts with the sweet corn mixture. Place the filled doughnuts on a plate of the yuzu- lemon curd and top with caviar. And there you have the most ridiculous doughnut ever.

 

 

 

Neighborly Perks

The Embarcadero is a great place. Not only are we here, but we are surrounded by awesomeness. The Ferry Building a few blocks away from us is a hub of amazing food, shops, and restaurants. What I also love is the farmer's market they have on Tuesdays and Saturdays. We get items from them sometimes, and every once in a while we'll feature a cocktail from their market ingredients. The Tuesday event is much more mellow, but still great for those that want some freshness and local fare during the week. I happened upon it this morning and took some pictures to share. Just another reason to love the city......


What OysterFest is really about.....

OysterFest is just around the corner. We've been talking about it for a while now, we even have a page on our website dedicated to it, but I thought you should know what it's about and why we're so in love with the event. It's a good time for everyone involved, even the staff. To host it is a privilege and something we are proud of. Year 6 and we're going strong.

The beneficiary, the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, has been a partner of ours for some time now. Although this event has always benefited them, we have worked along side them on multiple events due to the fact that they too are in the business of supporting our oceans and oceanic wildlife. These are things we take beyond seriously and look to partner with like minded companies, people and organizations. OysterFest is a celebration of that thought process and we look forward to enjoying it.

Our oyster donations this year are coming from Drake's Bay Oyster Company out of Point Reyes, Marin County, California and Louis Seafood? Drake's Bay is a small family run company that focuses on raising awareness regarding sustainability while providing amazing oysters. The Lunny's, who took over in 2004, have cultivated a community and organization that we are proud to be a part of. 

Masumoto Harvest Time

Renoir's "Peaches". Impressionists happen to be at the Legion of Honor just as our peach season was coming to an end. Perfect timing.

Renoir's "Peaches". Impressionists happen to be at the Legion of Honor just as our peach season was coming to an end. Perfect timing.

Tis the season. Not the holiday season, or football season, but our Masumoto harvest season. For the 8th year, or something around there, we have adopted some trees from the Masumoto family farm near Fresno, California. They are certified organic and have become a staple to our menu during the season. A team went to pick some peaches and nectarines and I thought it would be fun to share. We love the family and the product and especially the food that's created. 

Included are pictures taken by Eric Hyman. Our bee keeper, purchasing manager, all around main man. Thanks Eric!!!!

Trumer: Sunny Patio Beer Days

Man oh man, these Sunny Patio Beer Days have been incredible. Our last brewery Headlands had some great stuff and we know Trumer will bring nothing less than the best. I don't know how familiar you are with this local brew, but Trumer Brauerie, out of Berkeley, California has been a partner of ours for some time now. Their Pilsner, which is their token brew, has been a facet to our OysterFest celebration forever. The last 6 years they have donated not only their time, but their beer to the cause as well. 

We are lucky to have them not only for OysterFest this year, but to feature them on our Patio Saturday August 16th. Come and see what Trumer has to offer...... AKA pilsner perfection.

Sweet Tooth

Desserts can make or break a meal, and in some cases are the meal. Angela, our Executive Pastry Chef took some time to sit with me and talk about a new dessert on the menu. She, not unlike the rest of our kitchen staff, takes a lot of time and effort choosing what goes on the menu. From the Campfire Sundae to the newest Pluot Vol-Au-Vents, Angela is top notch.

That's Marie-Anotine Careme. Very important in the culinary world. Angela said he pretty much created everything :)

That's Marie-Anotine Careme. Very important in the culinary world. Angela said he pretty much created everything :)

We started with a small history lesson. Chef Marie-Antoine Careme of France is credited with the creation of this pastry in the 18th century. Usually used for savory dishes, this puff pastry can be filled with many things and Angela has chosen to fill it with delicious chevre cheese. This is a goat cheese, keeping with the tradition of savory while pairing it with the seasons end of stone fruit and basil. When looking through our dessert menu, you will find Angela likes to keep things from straying too sweet. Our version of this Pluot Vol-Au-Vent is served with a basil anglaise and plum compote. Angela has found that basil and stone fruit pair well together, and with the stone fruit season coming to an end thought this was the perfect way to celebrate it. Making the dish a more delicate version of the traditional, we have found it to be the perfect ending to any meal here at Waterbar.

From beginning to end this dessert is something to behold. The foundation of basil anglaise, plum jam, pluot slices and puff pastry vol-au-vents. Vent(s), because we have three. Next we have the sweet chevre that's added to the top of the puff pastry. Then, the micro basil is placed perfectly while the finishing touch of chevre snow completes the dish. Prefection. No joke.

                                                                                                


Eat Drink SF- Tickle your Tastebuds

Eat Drink SF- Tickle your Tastebuds

I know I've mentioned this before, but I wanted to remind the world that this Friday we will be attending what was previously known as SF Chefs. It is now Eat Drink SF and will be hosted at Fort Mason. Not only has the venue changed but we are looking forward to an event like none other. OK, it will be a food event, but with all the participants this year it looks to be a spectacular event.

 

The Grand Tasting is Friday from 6pm-10pm and we will be serving a delectable American Sturgeon Caviar with a homemade corn puff. I don't know about you but my mouth is watering just thinking about it. And that's just what we're serving, you can only imagine the other glorious dishes that will be available. The entire weekend, starting Friday, will be a celebration and we think you should join in the fun. 

Tio Point Oysters

Oysters are kind of a big deal here. We strive to have a selection unlike any other and the newest addition is the Tio Point from New Zealand. Many things make this oyster special- not only is it grown from a hanging rope for 2 years near Blenheim off the North Island, it's a flat oyster. For those of you familiar and for those of you who are not, this species of oyster is very rare. We here at Waterbar are one of four places that carry it in the United States. No joke. Not only that, we are the only restaurant in Northern California. 

Look at it in all it's glory. It really is beautiful and the transition of flavors is something special- it starts off salty and ends with a slight mineral/metallic taste. In a good way. In all honesty, I've never tasted anything like it. 

NPR Says....

As some of you might be aware, we at Waterbar take the environment very seriously. Extremely seriously. We have a bee hive on our rooftop serious. Eric Hyman our Purchasing Manager, as mentioned here, has taken the time to cultivate a little community on our roof top. The bee hive is the newest addition, and although he's had some snafus (check out our pinterest) things are coming along quite nicely. Now that you have the back story, I was driving to work the other day and was listening to NPR. A lot of the time, and this was no exception, the news is sad and depressing, yet informative. On this day, Fresh Air, which is a show on NPR, was discussing the bee situation here in the U.S. This is something we are basically obsessed with and think everyone should be aware of. With that said, you should check the broadcast out here. It's important to be informed and pretty crucial in this case. Spread the word!

This is our ( Eric's) rooftop garden and hive, and of course the lone ranger bee. 

 

 

 

 

 

Tailgate how to with Chef Parke-

Summer is a season of BBQ's, potlucks and an overall good time. When you add tailgating and baseball, you have reached another dimension of awesomeness. Chef Parke was recently featured in an article about grilling in Fine Cooking "Grilled Steak A-Z" by Parke Ulrich. He gives some great pointers about grilling the meat, of course, but here are a couple lighter dishes that we wanted to share as well. So here they are!

Pictured is our Halibut ceviche on the left and the Yellowtail Jack on the right. This recipe happens to be Yellowtail Jack, but you can substitute mahi mahi or shrimp too.

Yellowtail Jack Ceviche-

Yellowtail jack or fish- 8 ounces, diced small

Limes- the juice and zest of 3 limes

Salt

Red onion- 2 tablespoons, minced

Jalepenos- 2 peppers, minced

Cilantro- 1 bunch, chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

Combine the fish, lime juice and salt. This begins the curing (cooking) process. Add the red onion, cilantro and jalepenos. At this point you are adding the olive oil to taste. It will mellow out the tartness of the lime and balance the flavors. 

Fried Green Tomatoes-

Green unripe tomatoes- as many as you want to make

Slice tomatoes so they are ¼ inch thick

Soak in buttermilk for 30 minutes

Drain on paper towel

Plated in a line you should have your seasoned flour, egg wash and panko breadcrumb mix. Make sure the flour is seasoned with both salt and pepper. Dredge the tomato in the flour, then egg and finally the panko bread mix. You can either shallow fry or deep fry the tomatoes, just make sure the temperature is 350 degrees. Drain again on paper towel to get rid of any excess grease. Serve room temperature with a *tabasco aioli.

Tabasco Aioli-

Mayonnaise- 1 cup

Add Tabasco to taste

Pinch salt

Note: if you wrap the tomatoes in plastic, poke holes in the top and it will prevent them from getting soggy. You can also put them on the grill once you get to your destination to heat them up if you so desire. 

Enjoy and have fun!

 

Rosé, please

After taking one look at our wine list, you will notice the care that has gone into it. Steve Izzo our beverage director and bar super man, has taken his knowledge of wine and spirits and created something beautiful. And when I think of beautiful, I think of rosé. That's been our wine focus for some time now and I wanted to share it in all it's glory. As we do have a plethora of rosé selections on our list, Steve has chosen very specific wines to showcase. Here they are......


Summertime Splurge: Domaines Sacha Lichine, Côtes de Provence

Château D’Esclans - Les Clans, Côtes de Provence 2011    135.

Made from 50 to 70 year old Grenache and Rolle vines

Château D’Esclans - Garrus, Côtes de Provence 2011    155.

Made from 80 to 90 year old Grenache and Rolle vines

My favorite table on the patio with my favorite wines. 

My favorite table on the patio with my favorite wines. 


Located in the heart of Provence, Château D’Esclans is making perhaps the finest rosé wines ever produced.  Noted oenologist and wine maker Patrick León, who (among his many other accomplishments) oversaw the original vineyard plantings for Opus One and is the former wine maker for Château Mouton Rothschild, partnered with Sacha Lichine to fulfill their mutual passion for rosé wines.  The wines are meticulously made in small lots—from the sorting table to the bottle, no grapes anywhere are as carefully selected and vinified.  Only a few cases of the old-vine Les Clans and Garrus were made available to the California marketplace, and we are thrilled to offer them while they last.  Admittedly these rosés are a bit of a splurge, but after one sip you will have come closer to understanding the meaning of subtlety.