Pâtisserie B., SF

Pâtisserie B., SF

September 23, 2013  |  featured, food & drink, san francisco  |  No Comments

Even the fluffiness of the croissants makes you happy!

Wow, wow, wow – what a creation! A Parisian style patisserie has finally arrived in San Francisco. Going to this place is an amazing experience. I felt like a child finding a treasure. Everything from the design to the display is exquisite and elegant and has been carried out in grand style. The deserts are magnifiques! You will have difficulty deciding which one to taste… this is the time to surrender to temptation and culinary discovery. Les viennoiseries (pastries) are fresh, crisp, locally inspired and flavorful – even the fluffiness of the croissants makes you happy.

Croissants

B. Patisserie is the inspiration of Belinda Leong and Michel Suas. Belinda was a pastry chef at Gary Danko for 8 years before embarking on an international staging in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen. While in Paris, she loved les tartines – open-faced sandwiches – and she included them in the menu of her San Francisco’s store. Michel Suas himself created the special levain bread used for them. I overheard from their clients that the cheese and ham tartine, served with a small salad on the side, is awesome.

Michel Suas is a French pastry chef who has worked at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Paris, the Barrier. He moved to San Francisco in 1996 and created the San Francisco Baking Institute where Belinda took some classes. Michel has written a well respected book in the field of modern French baking. At B. Patisserie, Michel and Belinda offer the people of San Francisco a gorgeous Salon de thé, which could make you feel for a moment that you might be in Paris. (Just don’t look through the window). But I promise, this is a place that will enchant you!

GateauxB. Patisserie | 2821 California St. (at Divisadero)

 

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We Love Chez Papa

We Love Chez Papa

August 21, 2013  |  featured, food & drink, san francisco  |  No Comments

It seems that every neighborhood in San Francisco has at least one French bistrot, and some have more that one. What a city! Potrero hill has Chez Papa and its sister Chez Maman, and there is no way that it could be otherwise.

As usual, it was a cold San Francisco night. On Van Ness Avenue people were hiding in big sweaters and sporty clothes… Yes, the city will never be the fashion capital of the world. Let’s blame it on the harsh wind and that summer fog. As I crossed 18th Street at Missouri, downtown San Francisco revealed itself in all its urban glory, and the wind quieted down. It is really quite view, even for locals like me.

Chez Papa is the staple place of the hill, and it draws an elegant and eclectic crowd. On the night I visited, the ambiance was quiet and lovely. One table over, a trendy couple was dining on mussels and wine. A group of friends were enjoying their food and each other’s company – even the kids were well behaved and eating their frites with a focused gaze.

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The restaurant is small, sleek, and decorated in earthy red tones. It has a few tables outside for the brave ones.  As we walked in, a server greeted us immediately and offered us a nice table. The service was prompt, courteous, and very discreet. Servers and bussers left us the space we needed, keeping an eye from afar and knowing when to come and go. The manager, Raymond, whom I know, also came to our table to say hello, and we had a small friendly chat.

The web site says this about the food: “We strive to recreate the simple yet subtle flavors of Provence cooking.” A tasty tapanade is brought to each table as a welcome gesture and for wine sipping time. We ordered a second serving, and it was delivered in seconds. As a main course, I chose the black cod on a lentil bed and a side of veggies. It was absolutely delicious and cooked with flair. You can find the whole menu and special dishes by going on their web site. Their menu offerings are delightful and right out of a Provence table.

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Dining out at chez Papa is definitely worth the trip, even from as far as Marin, East or South Bay. And any guest to the city would tremendously enjoy the location and the charm of this so, so San Francisco French bistro on the top of a hill.

Chez Papa Bistrot | 1401 18th St. San Francisco | 415 824-8205

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Burger Bar or Powerhouse Hubert Keller

Burger Bar or Powerhouse Hubert Keller

September 15, 2011  |  san francisco  |  1 Comment

Curious to try burgers created by the brand name Hubert Keller, I stood in line for a table at the Burger Bar in the Macy’s building a few weeks ago. The view over Union Square is magnificent. The weather was cloudy, but the sheer expansiveness of the view over the surrounding buildings added some cheer to the whole experience.

Burger Bar is a typical American pub which serves burgers ranging in price from ten to sixty dollars, has booths with TVs, and serves any kind of beer you can think of. The Rossini burger, which is the most expensive ($60), offers Kobe beef, sautéed fois gras and shaved truffles. I ordered Hubert Keller’s favorite, called the “Hubert Keller” ($20) – buffalo meat, spinach, cheese and sautéed onions on ciabbata bread (featured). It was tasty, as tasty as burgers can be. I liked both the sweet potatoes fries and the skinny fries. You can also create your own burgers, but you would miss the famous chef’s own creations and suggestions.

Burger Bar is part of Hubert Keller’s food empire, as I read in his statement on the menu. It said that that it is a representation of the way he lives his life – “with grace and charm.” I think that going to Burger Bar is a great study in the power of brand. I was really funny to see that along with burgers, you can also buy a selection of T-shirts, tank tops, studded tanks and G-strings. Hey, if you have a friend who could enjoy a Burger Bar G-string or a studded tank top, why not!!!

Hubert Keller is the owner of Fleur de Lys restaurant in San Francisco. He also has restaurants in Las Vegas and Saint Louis; he is a Bravo chef and media darling and owner of the Burger Bar chain. I also saw him DJing one time, and he had tons of fun… and was pretty good.

 

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