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Mar 26, 2008 09:44 AM

Menu Recs for Bar Crudo, Cafe Citti, Ferry Bldg?

Dallas 'hound coming to the Bay Area for a long weekend. Have already established my dining itinerary after researching these boards (though unfortunately some are compromised choices for dining due to transportation issues). Need advice for the following:

1) Dim sum in Chinatown on Friday. I know Koi Palace gets all the praise but a trip out there isn't feasible with our schedule. Is Lichee House or Y. Ben House the better choice? Or another place? My favorite dim sum items are fried tarot stuffed with minced pork and mushroom and anything with BBQ pork. I have to admit, coming from Dallas, my dim sum exposure is somewhat limited.

2) Dinner at Bar Crudo on Friday. I've heard the chowder is good here. Any other specific menu recommendations?

3) Lunch at Cafe Citti in Sonoma on Saturday (it's on the way of the wineries we're planning on visiting in Sonoma). Any menu item recs?

4) Dinner at Jai Yun on Saturday night. No choice here. Hope it's good.

5) Headed to Ferry Bldg on Sunday for an extended lunch. I know Saturday's really the day to get the scene, but since Saturday is Sonoma wineries day, it'll have to be Sunday. On my list of to tries:
o Golden Gate Meat Co. (breakfast sandwich with bacon)
o Froghollow (butternut and squash turnover, Blue Bottle coffee, apple and pear tarts)
o Hog Island Oyster Bar (clam chowder)
o Lulu (fresh potato chips)
o Ferry Plaza Seafood (clam chowder)
o Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker (chocolate chip cookie)
o San Francisco Fish Company (soft shell crab sandwich)
o Mistral (get a small portion of the roast chicken)
o Miette (chocolate macaroons)
o Cowgirl Creamery (sample some cheeses, Mt. Tam)
o Ferry Bldg Wine Merchant (bring over some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and enjoy with Pinot Noir)
o Nick Sciaba & Sons (olive oil)
o June Taylor (jams)
o Marshal Farms (pumpkin blossom honey)

Any that could be skipped (I can't eat all of these!) or anything I've missed that needs to be tried?

Any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Haven't been to Citti in a while, but if they have the tuna and egg panini (maybe @ lunch, only...)it is delectable. I also remember their tiramisu as being exceptional. Does the original chef (I think his name was Lucca or Lupo?....) still own the place? If yes, you're in for some yummy food in a very casual setting.

    1. Yes, at Bar Crudo the chowder is great and very rich with both cream and bacon. I'd recommend splitting if you are there with someone else. Also on the menu is a burrata and lobster salad that is amazing. Get it!

      Your Ferry Building picks are fantastic. If I had to skip anything, it would be the Miette macaroons, which just aren't to my taste. For a lightish meal, I like to get a little olive roll from Acme, a hunk of cheese from Cowgirl, and seasonal fruit from Frog Hollow.

      I've only been to the June Taylor stand on Saturdays, is there somewhere in the building that sells her products on non-market days?

      1 Reply
      1. re: pane

        Cowgirl has a limited (and sometimes non-existent) selection of June Taylor. Never has what I want, though! I have found the grapefruit marmalade to be only so-so but the meyer lemon to be fantastic. Haven't tried the others.

      2. At Bar Crudo you should get the crudo. They have a crudo sampler that allows you to get most of the offerings. The last time I was there, I was with four other folks. We ordered five of each of the crudos and were quite happy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Paul H

          The couple of times I've been, the crudo I liked best weren't on the sampler. I think they tended to be the most expensive, but for me it was worth it to order selection outside of the pre-determined sampler.

        2. I absolutely love the chowder at Hog Island, and they serve it with Acme epi, the world's best bread imho. It's not for someone counting calories though!

          I don't know if you CAN bring in cheese to the wine merchant since they sell their own cheese (a brie and manchego combo procured from cowgirl - the manchego is vy good). If anyone could confirm that it's ok to bring in cheese, I would appreciate it. They usually have a fairly high priced red wine there that is fantastic by the glass (Twomey merlot, Orin Swift's The Prisoner, etc.) I love their by the glass wines, never had one that was less than stellar in about 5-6 visits.

          1. donna, we are currently in the midst of our 10th annual march ,3 week sf/cal. vaca.
            i'm a very picky chef from boston. here are some of my suggestions;

            ferry bldg- far west funghi sells lg assortment of wild mushroom products. we particularly like their truffle dijon mustard and we stock up there rather than have them ship to us on the east coast. their dried candy cap mushrooms are their best dried mushroom i think.their black truffle oil is also exc and cheaper than many others.

            sur la table sells an amazingly sharp/superb travel knife for $10; comes in heavy plastic sheath; many color options. now that i have one i can't imagine how i lived w/o it.

            lulu's- in addition to those terrif pota. chips,, they have a v good jarred saffron aioli.

            hog isl.: terrific chowder: MY experience is one whole bowl per person!

            i am not a scharff. choco. fan but i AM a rechiutti chocolates (sp.) fan. His hazelnut pralinecandy bars are super in additon to his sea salted caramels and many other very unusual individual chocolates.

            unless you want the vibe/experience of bustling (crowded dirty) chinatown, skip it. Fairly nearby-Yank Sing -is the only dim sum game in town for me and far better than anything I have had in Boston or NYC, but it IS v expensive; see my post of this past week.

            Not among your topics, but for me THE Superextraordinary SF experience is La Boulangerie on Pine St. at corner of Filmore.
            Extraordinary bakeries are as rare as hen's teeth in the old U.S. and this is the very greatest I have personally visited( and I have been to thousands of u.s. bakeries, trust me!!) The largest number of varieties of both sweet and savory pastries I have ever seen, tortes, breads, macarons, croissants, etc etc, etc.and the astounding quality of all those products- is hard to believe.Try to get there on a weekend before 9am if possible(fyi, we ourselves have never achieved this timing goal!), just so you have a smaller crowd to deal with. btw, there is a freeway entrance about 8 minutes south of them.

            have a great report back on your experiences!!

            6 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              There are several other branches of Boulangerie around town. Does Pine St. have a bigger selection?


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I believe Pine St. bakes on site...not the case for most or all of the other locations....definitely the one you want to hit...

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  clare, ther pine st. manager, explained to me that that location is their mother store , and the answer is yes. fantabulous variety.

                2. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thanks for the tip on the travel knife. Opinionated Chef -- sounds like the very one I've been looking for to replace a long-lost purchase in Mexico.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    its label is kuhn rikon. so happy to be helpful.