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(American) Southwestern-French fusion?

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Does anyone still do this? It was a fad in the 80s to do Southwestern twists on French dishes by using ingredients such as corn and chiles or vice-versa, e.g. duck confit enchiladas. Zuni Cafe (before Judy Rodgers) and Jeremiah Tower's Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Berkeley were a couple of local examples.

Not to be confused with Southwestern French aka Gascon cuisine (confit, magret, cassoulet).

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  1. You mean sort of like Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in NYC?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Sort of, but with a lot more French influence.

    2. Like John Sedlar's St Estephe in LA? That was a cool place, but I think Sedlar sticks to Latin American and Spanish inspired dishes now. Maybe Stephen Pyles in Dallas? I went to Routh St Cafe years ago -- it was Southwest/Creole fusion. There's a San Diego place called Candelas that calls itself Mexican-French fusion, but I haven't been. I can't think of any in the Bay Area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: j mather

        Coyote Cafe still does some stuff like that, e.g. lobster tails with creamy chile sauce. Nothing hereabouts?

      2. I love that type of cooking when done well. We went to Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe shortly after it opened and that was one of the most exciting meals ever in terms of opening my palate to new possibilities.

        Alas, I know of nothing in this area. Even in Santa Fe it is hard to find. Aqua Santa is a bit like this, more so than Coyote Cafe is now, but more locavore than fusion-y; it's still very delicious.

        If you find anything like this in the Bay Area please let us know!

        Michael