While our previous entry (Ma'Kai) was the result of a rare UNPLANNED visit to a new restaurant, Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant was in the books in advance. As usual, Andrea is responsible for discovering this Cal-Italian place in the Rincon Hill neighborhood of SF and adding it to our culinary agenda. While we did take a quick peek at the attached "Wine Merchant" section, our destination was the restaurant to share a quick bite before leaving the city.
PEAR & CHEESE
roquefort cheese served with caramelized pear,
hazelnuts, mache and a black pepper gastric
Few combinations of flavors are ever as satisfying a strong cheese paired with sweet fruit. But roquefort paired with pear - caramelized pairs - is a particular treat. The best bites were a hunk of cheese dragged through the sweet sauce, and then skewered along with enough of the caramelized outer layer of the pear to add a candy crunch.
chicken apple sausage with figs, balsamic onions,
goat cheese and arugula
The sweet and savory combination continued with our choice of pizza, chosen from the specials chalkboard adjacent to our seats along the marble bar. The "Local" is known for its wood-fired pizzas, and from our seats at the bar we were able to spot our dinner being plucked from the oven with a JUST crispy crust. Not only did we enjoy the sausage and figs and cheese during dinner, but we managed to save a slice for a later snack at home.
TRUFFLE & PARMESAN FRIES
tossed with shaved parmesan cheese
and white truffle oil
If you're familiar with our blog (or just Andrea), you know that truffle oil and flavors appear often at our dinners. This time, a hint of truffle was added to our fries along with slivers of parmesan which added a nutty saltiness to each bunch.
CHOCOLATE PINENUT CROSTATA
dark chocolate tart with lemon ricotta chantilly
The great thing about sharing a small meal is that there's generally more room for dessert. This time, however, dessert was really the only disappointment. The above tart wasn't particularly bad, but certainly nothing special. It was too dry to really appreciate the crunch of the nuts with the chocolate, and the ricotta garnish wasn't really sweet enough to compliment the the tart. Also, the dessert menu in general did not seem as inspired as the rest of the selections. Whenever we schedule our next visit, we might allow ourselves individual entrees and an additional appetizer instead of saving room for dessert.