Archive for February, 2012

Feb 20

More than Just the Roasted Chicken at Zuni Cafe

Zuni Cafe has been around for years and I think I’ve driven by it many times along Market Street. We’ve never been but friends of ours wanted to take us since it’s one of their favorite restaurants in San Francisco. The restaurant is quite big and busy, with seating downstairs facing the hustle and bustle of Market Street and a quiet and warm upstairs.  We had reservations, and from the look of things, reservations are recommended.

Once you get seated, order the very popular Roasted Chicken from the brick oven, it’s what everyone orders and it takes approximately 1 hour. When I say everyone orders it, I’m not kidding, all the tables sitting around us had the Roasted Chicken featured with a Warm Bread Salad with Scallions, Mustard Greens, Dried Currants and Pine Nuts.  Luckily for us, we had 4 of us and we are big eaters so we were able to order more than just the big plate of chicken.  Family style is definitely the way to go at Zuni Cafe!  From my understanding, all the dishes are seasonal except for the Roasted Chicken so there’s no guarantee that all of the following dishes are available during your visit.

For starters, we had two salads, the sweet and refreshing Blood and Cara Cara Oranges with Avocado, Toasted Almonds and Shallots and the bittersweet Arugula and Endive Salad with  Steelhead Salmon Roe and Champagne Vinaigrette (I forgot to get a photo of the Steelhead Salmon Roe on the side). Because I am pregnant, I didn’t get to try the Steelhead Salmon Roe but everyone seemed to have really enjoyed it, they were saying that it tasted much better than what they’ve had in the past! For appetizers, we shared the crunchy and very flavorful Piccolo Fritto which was Deep Fried Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Fennel with hot Pepper and Lime, the Pan-Seared San Pedro Bay Squid with White Beans, Arugula, Onions and Garlic Aioli which was one of my favorites, the sauce was like a vinaigrette and I found myself dipping my bread into it! Last but not least, we also had the Prince Edward Island Mussels Stewed with White Wine, Black Limes, Chickpeas, Oregano and Paprika. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat the mussels but I did eat the accompaniments and they were delicious!

Besides the very moist Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin which was totally worth the wait, we also shared the sweet and tasty White Sea Bass Braised in the Brick Oven with Saffron, Orange Zest, Coriander Seeds, Turnips, Sliced Baby Potatoes and Harissa Sauce. For our third entree, we had the Evans Ranch Beef Filet rolled with White Pepper and Roasted Rare with Potato-Celery Root Puree, Glazed Brussel Sprouts and Rosemary Sauce. Sadly, I couldn’t really eat the Beef Filet but I did sneak a very small cooked bite and it was so damn tender and good! Everyone ate this smiling and happy and repeated ‘this beef is sooo good’.  I can say that the sides for the beef were very good!  As an additional side for our entrees, we also had a bowl of Polenta with Parmigiano-Reggiano! It was yummy, I found myself scooping the last bites in the bowl.

To end our meal, we decided to share three desserts! The you can never go wrong with it Crème Brûlée, the fluffy and not too sweet Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream which was much better than I anticipated, and the too sour Lemon Sorbet served with Rosemary Shortbread.

Great restaurant with wonderful ambiance and service, would definitely recommend it!

This blog is dedicated to my dear friend who treated us to this deelious dinner, you are too generous, thank you sooo much!