Last night we visited the Salumeria pop-up at Shotwells on 20th and Shotwell in San Francisco. I ordered everything on the menu, took more than my share, forked someone who made a move toward the crunchy chicken bits that had fallen back onto the paper, and regretted nothing.
**hen ballotine, green garlic aioli, pea tendrils, focaccia
**estero gold cheese, sea salt and olive oil crackers, toscana salami, whole grain mustard, marinated olives and pickles
**cherry peppers, ricotta and boquerones
Salumeria will be a new spot near the flourishing 20th/Alabama food and art corridor. It's a project by the Flour & Water people, joined to Central Kitchen, and will open in late May 2012 if all goes according to plan (which never seems to happen). More here: http://grubstreet.com/tags/sanfrancis...
The hen ballotine, a boned braised chicken sandwich, was a delight, with succulent meat, crispy edges, and not too much focaccia jamming up the works. They handed this over with a wedge of lemon recommended for maximum flavor. I forgot about the lemon, and adored the sandwich all the same, despite the fact that chicken sandwiches are so tedious they never charm me. This was a masterful blend of textures, flavors and good technique. Gold star.
The kicky cherry peppers with a puff of ricotta tied with a boquerone bow were also enjoyable, and a welcome amuse, or between course diversion. I asked the lady in charge which parts they had made, and she said not the boquerones, which I took to mean they had made the ricotta? Perhaps I misunderstood, but it was tasty.
I was least impressed by the salumi plate, but I think this is a tough town to charge $10 for a few slices of salami, a spoonful of mustard, and some OK crackers. Nice firm buttery cheese and good porky but not greasy salami--everything was perfectly fine, but I think I've had so many great charcuterie plates as to make me unimpressable, or at least not easily impressed. So this was just fine.
I look forward to trying more of their food when they open. That was one excellent sandwich.