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Get in My Belly! The Top Things to Eat This Week

A joyful look at the week's food highlights. 

BLT sandwich at Seed + Salt 

 

The past several years have been good ones for the American craft chocolate fan: it seems that every week brings a new company touting its small-batch, scrupulously- manipulated cacao. One of my favorites is Dick Taylor, a Humboldt County concern run by Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. Their Arcata factory produces some truly delightful specimens, among them the maple coconut bar I've been slowly rationing over the past couple of weeks. Weighing in at 72% cacao, it's paved with finely shredded coconut and endowed with a bit of maple syrup, just enough to give the bar a husky sweetness. The coconut adds a nice textural flavor counterpoint to the smooth chocolate—it's there, but it doesn't impose itself. You can find this stuff all over San Francisco and the East Bay. I recommend that you do.

The other night I had dinner at Cockscomb, Chris Cosentino's newest endeavor. Decked out in raw wood and poured concrete punctuated by the occasional taxidermied mammal, it looks like Soma's most well-appointed man's cave, a place for stiff drinks and artfully deconstructed animal flesh. Don't get me wrong: the place is lovely, as are the food and cocktails. Although the grub is so meaty and fatty as to be almost medieval, Cosentino doesn't do excess for excess' sake: there's harmony in his flavors, and obvious thoughtfulness in their execution. One of my favorite dishes was a thick bone-in slab of petrale sole, its crackly skin bathed in a verjus brown butter and dotted with fat grapes and grapers, or the grapes Cosentino pickles in the style of capers. The meat was exceptionally tender: had no one been watching, I would have picked it from the bones with my fingers. Sole may be a bottom feeder, but here it ascended to a heavenly realm.

Situated at the polar opposite end of the spectrum from Cockscomb is Seed + Salt, Mo Clancy's bright, airy clean-food cafe that recently opened in the Marina. Clean food, incidentally, here means a menu devoid of gluten, dairy, GMOs, trans fats, and refined sugar. It is not, thankfully, devoid of flavor: I thoroughly enjoyed the crunchy eggplant bacon that graced the cafe's version of a BLT, and likewise loved its take on falafel, here rendered with quinoa and green garbanzo hummus. But dessert crazy that I am, I reserved my fondest memories for Seed + Salt's chocolate chip cookie, made with almond flour, coconut sugar, and chunks of raw chocolate, it was cakey, tender, and every other wonderful thing you don't expect gluten-free baked goods to be. It was, in short, one smart cookie, and I hope to be back for seconds sooner than later.

 

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