More February Food Notes

OK, i’m not doing this every month, but for February there’s gotta be a second food column.

First, the bad news:  I’d whined before that this year’s mandarin crop has been overwhelmingly disappointing.  Well, the disappointment has spread.  My primary supplier of Marsh grapefruit, Cliff Hamada, has not yet brought this year’s crop to market, and he has expressed some fear that he may not have a Marsh crop this year since it’s dependent on the one old tree standing in his yard, those in his groves having long since been replaced by modern sweet varieties.  Last week i was so jonesing for grapefruit that i broke down and bought two of his sweet varieties, just to tide me over.  Alas, they both had such tough inner membranes that they were rather a chore to chew up in my preferred method of consuming grapefruit, which is to just skin and core them and cut them up into bites as i described earlier.  If Cliff’s Marsh crop turns out to have failed and i’m reduced to choking down sweet grapefruit, i may have to break down and buy me one of those grapefruit spoon thingys.  Il faut souffrie être gourmand.  

The rest of it’s all good.

After mentioning a couple of weeks ago that the only competitor with the Kouign Amann at B. Patisserie for the San Francisco Pastry Olympics gold medal was the Pomme d’Amour at Knead Patisserie, i realized that i owed it to my readers to confirm that my statement was true.  So i swung by there this morning.  Yep, the damn thing may be even better than the Kouign Amann, and i say “damn thing” only because each delicious one must surely contain more carbohydrates than i’m supposed to eat in several days.

Not, of course, that i’ve otherwise been of late a total stranger to carbohydrates.

Last Sunday i introduced my friend Stephen to Company, and we split the Crisp Kale, the Warm Ricotta with Poached Pear and Levain Bread, and the  Chicken Wing Confit as appetizers, and then both of us had the Lamb Shank as an entree.  The kale is utterly delicious, i could live on that ricotta no matter what it came with, the chicken wings are crisp and tender and marvelously flavored, and those lamb shanks are a culinary tour de force.  I do not understand how he can braise the damn things until they fall apart at the touch of my fork but still somehow transfer them to the plate atop a layer of creamed semolina and have them remain absolutely intact.  I suspect witchcraft, and that’s just the appearance since the first bite confirms that witchcraft is involved.


On Monday i introduced my friend Mark to Mission Beach Cafe, where we started with their excellent French fries with truffle oil and shredded reggiano, which take them over the top and make them the best French fries i ever ate.  Not, of course, that i’m supposed to eat potatoes anymore, so no wonder they taste so good.

Truffled regianno fries

And then we moved on to the Brussels sprouts, which were good, followed by the rabbit gumbo that i’ve raved about before.  After i explained to Mark that the greatest amount of my chocolate cream pie he had any chance of getting would be a tiny sliver barely large enough to taste, he wisely concluded that he needed his own slice.  He agreed with me that it was everything a chocolate cream pie could ever hope to be, and we left stuffed.


Then Tuesday it was back to Company for dinner with That Pig Jeff.  Since it was his turn to pay and he’d ordered up such a gargantuan feast the last time we were in here, i insisted that this time we had to try their dinner special menu, which has a limited selection and a significant price reduction.  What could go wrong?

Well, in the first place since it was The Pig and I, we quickly agreed that well, it would be OK to buy an extra appetizer of that divine Chicken Wing Confit, wings that the chef has confitted until they’re falling-off-the-bone tender, flash fried crispy, and then dressed in a reduction of pomegranate juice with rosemary and black pepper.  Breathtaking.  And then the chef comped us a bowl of his sublime warm ricotta atop a layer of braised artichoke with little slices of Levain bread.  Gasp.  Jeff had a composed salad that looked good even to me and he left no trace of it while i had a carrot soup in hopes that it would be as good as the astonishing cauliflower, parsnip, and celeriac soup i’d had on my second visit.  It got close.  And then we both had the perfectly roasted chicken with its crispy skin and moist, tender interior.  Dessert?  Oh please.  We’re on diets.


I’ll close with another little disappointment.  Last week i uttered a plea to my loyal readers that one of them kindly help me with some information about that fascinating sculpture at 720 Market Street, but the plea lay bleeding in the gutter all week, unanswered.  When i have one of my little Segway Events and am lying mangled in the street, total strangers come running to assist me from all directions, but when i beg for help from my dear readers, all i get is tough love.  Suck it up, Bud, and figure it out for yourself.  So i did.  There’s no signage, inside or out, but the nice young lady at the desk was a wealth of information.

It’s one of the cast bronze Angel series Stephen de Staebler did in the late eighties, early nineties.  And here’s a closeup of her.

Stephen de Staebler  "Angel"


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Sharon
    Posted 20 February 2014 at 14:43 | Permalink

    Why not supreme the grapefruit segments, as some people do for pomelo? (I eat pomelo inner skin most of the time, but my daughter can’t chew it well yet.)

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 20 February 2014 at 16:50 | Permalink

      Better yet, just find someone to peel the segments for me the way my mother used to do, a luxury i didn’t appreciate when i had it.

      • Matte Gray
        Posted 21 February 2014 at 06:33 | Permalink

        But came to appreciate immediately when she announced i was old enough to do it for myself.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.