Warmth of the Season

We started this season and holiday focus off with the Gravenstein Cocktail- buffalo trace bourbon, amaretto di saronno, unfiltered apple juice, lemon..... served on the rocks it's a good way to start any holiday party, dinner, cocktail hour, any event big or small. Now I'm featuring the best way to end a night with friends and family, maybe even enjoy an evening by the fire with your honey...... enjoy!

Above from left to right: Hot Buttered Rum and the Hot Apple Pie. In the martini glass we have the Panettone. Last is a close up of the Hot Apple Pie.


First we have Hot Buttered Rum:

2 ounces Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum

1 Tablespoon spiced butter

3 ounces extremely hot water- melts the spiced butter and blends the rum

sprinkle with nutmeg

Here are the ingredients for the spiced butter. This is Joe's (the bar man) family recipe. He gave me all of the ingredients but one secret, and wouldn't divulge the exact measurements. Experiment if you will, it will be an adventure!!!!

Spiced Butter:

ginger, brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and butter. Good luck!


Next is the Hot Apple Pie:

2 ounces Tuaca Spiced Brandy

4 ounces mulled apple cider

top with chantilly or whipped cream and shaved nutmeg

The ingredients for the mulled apple cider are very similar, right down to the one single ingredient too special to share. Joe Wrye is a man of mystery I tell you! 

Mulled Apple Cider:

Star anise, cinnamon, clove, molasses and maple syrup. Simmer for 90 minutes and filter. Let cool before putting in the refrigerator, otherwise it will separate. 


Finally, the Panettone:

squeeze half a lemon to start


1 ounce limoncello

1 ounce Pimm's

1 ounce lillet blonde

Shake all ingredients together and garnish with lemon zest.











Breakfast of Champions

The holidays are a time of indulgence. The next recipe featured is the epitome of that- Crab Benedict with Artichokes. Chef Parke has shared this glory with me and I can't wait to share it with you.

This recipe is intense, proceed with dedication and caution......

Dungeness Crab Benedict with Artichokes 

Yields:4 Servings

 

For the Hollandaise

6 yolks

1# butter, cubed

1T Lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of cayenne pepper

To Make the Hollandaise

1.      Bring four gallons of water to a boil. In a medium mixing bowl combine egg yolks and lemon juice.

2.      Whisk yolks till they lighten in color and increase in volume. Place bowl of yolks over the boiling water, lower heat to medium-low and begin to whisk the yolk mixture. Gradually add butter one or two cubes at a time and continue to whisk till all butter has been emulsified into the sauce.

3.      Continue to cook the hollandaise until it is thick and holds its shape, it should not be runny. To test for thickness dip a spoon into the sauce, then run your finger down the back of the spoon. If a solid line forms and the sauce holds to the spoon, you have reached the desired consistency.

4.      Season with salt, pepper and cayenne till desired flavor is reached, strain through a fine mesh sieve and hold warm.

 

To prepare the crab

 Four 2# live Dungeness crabs

8 gal boiling water seasoned with grey sea salt. The water should be salty like the sea

 

Method for cooking crab

 Place crabs into boiling water and set a timer for 13 minutes.

 While crabs are cooking prepare an ice bath.

 After 13 minutes place crabs into ice bath and allow to cool for a full 20-30 minutes.

 Once crabs are cool, remove from ice bath, clean and pick the crabs. Remove the heads, the apron, and the gills from the crab. Using crackers and a shellfish fork, crack the legs and claws of the crab and remove meat from the legs and body using the shellfish fork. Pick through the meat once more to ensure there are no shells.

 Ingredients To Build The Dish

 1.      4 high quality English muffins, cut in half and toasted

2.      8 eggs poached so that the yolks are still runny

3.      8c raw spinach lightly sauted in olive oil

4.      4 artichokes, leaves and chokes removed and steamed till fork tender. Cut artichokes into wedges

5.      2oz. lightly warmed crab meat

6.      8oz. Hollandaise sauce

7.      One bunch thinly sliced chives for garnish.

To Plate the dish

Place halved and toasted English muffins on the plate. Top with sauted spinach and artichoke wedges. Place warm crab on top of artichokes, place one egg on each half of the English muffin. Top each half with 2oz of hollandaise and garnish with chives

 

A Well-Rounded Cheese Plate

We started the season off with the Gravenstein Cocktail, and I will be posting things throughout the coming weeks in courses, we'll say. I've decided to do the cheese plate next. I know some people enjoy cheese as their last course, but I find when I have people coming over, being greeted by a delicious cheese plate is a good way to start the night.

From top to bottom we have:

Alpha Tolman — Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT— raw cow’s milk 

Cave Aged Marisa — Carr Valley Cheese Co, La Valle, WI — sheep’s milk 

Taupinière — Laura Chenel, Sonoma, CA — goat’s milk 

 

We are currently featuring cheeses made with milk from different animals.  The flavors are very unique and this is a great way to sample the various milks.  Our cheese selection is accompanied by a homemade fruit and nut cracker made like a biscotti, along with toasted nuts tossed with fresh rosemary and a dried apricot and cherry chutney. We chose to add fresh pears and pomegranate seeds to brighten things up.

 

Our Fall Favorites

I did a Fall Frenzy post that was a little hard to focus on since it was still 80°. But here we are, in the midst of November with the holidays just around the corner. I thought we could refocus and showcase some amazing dishes chosen by our chefs to share for the season. Maybe even inspire you- 

I'm starting with a cocktail. Joe Wrye our star bartender, mixologist, barkeep, whatever name you like, recently added this to the menu and it's perfect for the season. Not too sweet, not too strong, just the right amount of everything.

Here it is and here is how you make it.....

 

The Gravenstein
2 ounces Russell 10yr Bourbon
1 ounce unfiltered apple juice
.5 ounces Amaretto
.25 ounces lemon juice
Mix and pour over ice with a lemon wedge or thinly sliced apple.

 

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.