Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, one of our favorite places! The chef, as so many of the great ones in the United States have, once worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
The Zuni has a great wood burning oven in the middle of the small restaurant, they cook many things in there, pizzas, pork, and their famous whole chicken with bread salad. I have never had it at the Zuni, but I have their cookbook and I have made it numerous times at home, it is simply to die for.
My lunch above caught my eye for two reasons, it had fresh shell beans and chicken wings, two of my favorite foods. Many people have never had fresh shell beans and are not familiar with them. The beans you buy in a can were once fresh shell beans- cannellini is what I have here. And the wings? Well, they are an item that I rarely eat as they are covered with skin...
The chicken wings? Not your "hooters" style, thank you very much, but tender, spiced, falling off the bone wings that had been slow braised.
The dish was actually called: Chicken wings braised with carrots, prosciutto, cinnamon, tomato and clove, fresh cannellini beans and chard.
I love all the fresh vegetables, spices and juices. There is no thick gravy like sauce, only a broth that warms the soul, and keeps the bread moist that I shall dip in it!
David had: Devils Gulch Ranch rabbit salad with frisee, fennel, watermelon radishes, hard cooked egg, creamy mustard vinaigrette, and fried capers.
I love food, and this food is quality, not quantity. I savor each bite. The restaurant is funky, it has small tables, situated very close together. The menu changes daily, but there are a few things that are never absent, and that is the roast chicken and their fabulous burger. They grind the meat there, make their own buns, pickles and ketchup. It's always a struggle for me, "the burger or the??"
And in the end, I had the Gateau Victoire, a flour less chocolate cake inspired by Julia Child that has been on their menu everyday since 1982. You can find the recipe online, or even better, visit the Zuni.
They take reservations on open table, but a little known fact is that they hold aside 1/3 of their tables at all times for walk ins!