On Thursday we learned that Robin would, indeed, become a resident of Kaiser San Francisco for the next three to four weeks as we await the birth of our first baby. I asked Robin if she wanted to go out (burger at the bar at Spruce? Chicken at Zuni Cafe?) or have dinner in.
Dinner in, friends, fun. That was the answer.
Some friends were able to stop by last minute and join us for a great pizza and bruchetta dinner. The highlight of the menu was the asparagus, bacon, burrata with crispy balsamic shallots, a take off from this NY Times recipe.
(thanks for taking the pic, Mikey)
Robin and I spent the Summer Solstice celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary a few days early at Outerlands. With a prolonged stay at Kaiser on the horizon, we headed out to this tiny, hipster joint in a most unusual location, three blocks from Ocean Beach. Known for its brunch and fixie-riding patrons, Outerlands has been getting attention for its dinners as well.
We were blown away by everything we eat. A few things stand out:
One: portion size. Each portion whether the slow roasted egg or the beef tenderloin provided enough that we were able to be wowed by the flavor, let the other try it, and go back for more. There was not so much, though, that I ever did not want to eat more. Each time a plate was taken away I had eaten more than enough but still wanted more.
Two: Beef that you don’t need a steak knife for. Robin and I both ordered the beef tenderloin. We both looked askance at the butter knife. We both still talk about how good that steak was. Perfect.
Three: Amazing vibe. Small, warm, happening, not loud. What a balance. We were the last two to be seated when they open (no reservations and doors open at 6:00, we arrived at 6:30). Our table was the closest to the bathroom, normally a bad thing. We had a great time watching all the people coming and going. They all looked SO COOL. Until I looked in the mirror at home, I thought I too was cool.
Thanks, Outerlands for a great anniversary dinner. We will be back (with a baby!)
(Image from Outerlandssf.com)
On Monday Robin found out that she would most likely have to spend the next three to four weeks in the hospital patiently awaiting the birth of our first child. Coming back from a workshop in Berkeley, I asked her what she wanted for what might have been one of her last home cooked meals for quite a few weeks. I offered Penne with White Beans and Kale, a knitchen favorite as well as the Potato, Arugula & Fontina Pizza. Robin wanted a steak. With $45 dollars I secured three beautiful pounds of Bone-In Rib Eye. With the gas out on the grill (turns out you have to turn those things off), I cooked up an indoor version of BA’s Salt and Pepper Bone-In Rib Eye. We had a wonderful dinner together.
Robin and I were thrilled to have my sister, Brooke and her husband, Graham, come stay with us last weekend. With three awesome kids at home and limited vacation, they have not been out to California in a long time. We were lucky enough to have them with us for four days.
Charlie, Bess, Jeremy and Jane came to join us for dinner. It was a fun meal and I loved showing my sister and Graham the world that we live in.
On the menu:
- Grilled steak with citrus gremolata (recipe to come)
- Chipotle-Corn Mashed Potatoes
- Jeremy’s rosemary bread
- Arugula salad
- Bi-Rite pie with Bi-Rite creamery ice-cream.
Last night Robin and I hosted three friends from work, all French teachers. It was great fun to see them and share a dinner together. Christy and her sister Jamie had heard too much about our remodel and finally had a chance to see it. Sophie and her husband Igor are diving into a remodel right now. Kathy is a foodie and is always sharing recipes with me at work.
Sophie brought tastry apps including Igor’s Three-Day Dates. Kathy made a fabulous Chez Panisse Almond Cake with fresh fruit (not cut too early) and whipped cream.
I spent the day working with Robin to make Fava Bean and Burrata Bruschetta. They were fabulous with fresh mint flavor and the wonderful creaminess of burrata.
We served these with Grilled Romaine and Citrus Caesar Salads as well as Mark Bittman’s Salmon with Chive-Tarragon Sauce.
Salmon with Chive-Tarragon Sauce
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tblspns minced fresh chives
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (or approx 1 tsp dried)
- 2 tblspns butter
- 2 big tomatoes, or about 4-5 Romas seeded, minced
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
In a pan, bring wine to boil and let it bubble for about a minute. Add herbs and butter; stir. When butter is melted add tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds or so. If sauce tastes flat after seasoning with salt and pepper, add lemon juice. Spoon sauce over fish.
I was looking for a new, easy dish and tried this from Real Simple. It was quite tasty and very quick. Nothing super rave-worthy but still worth a repeat down the road.
Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto
School is finally winding down. I once again have time to think about food. Watch out. I am hoping to cook quite a few new summer dishes. This is not new. It is good, though.
Sesame Peanut Noodle Salad with Grilled Salmon