THE PASTRY CUPBOARD
I stopped into The Pastry Cupboard on my walk to work last week--it's in the old Bistro Clovis space on Market. I was surprised by the number of pastries on offer considering they'd only been open for two days when I visited. I read later that the pastry chef had run a wholesale operation for a few years (after working at Slanted Door and Lark Creek Steak) so while the storefront is new, the business is not.
Lots of American (and French-tinged) bakery goods--cookies, pies, breakfast treats made with puff pastry. Some interesting items: chocolate hazelnut blondies, cocoa nib pistachio bars. Mr Espresso coffee. I tried a blueberry buttermilk breakfast pastry inside a puff pastry frame, and thought the texture of the pastry was great, as were the tart berries in a pool of tart buttermilk.
The inside space is bright and clean; much is taken up by the commercial kitchen set up in back, with a small space reserved for the counter and display cases up front. The desserts she made for Slanted Door were more sophisticated than this shop's goods, which lean toward classic and homey. Sounds like she's going to make plated desserts later; I'd be interested to see those.
FRIED CHICKEN POP-UP AT REBEL
Tonight (Sunday) we went to Sarah and Evan Rich's fried chicken pop-up at Rebel, which continues through Monday night (9/12). The $30 fixed price menu included three pieces of fried chicken per person plus several family-style dishes including pickled vegetables, black garlic mashed potatoes, three bean salad, baked beans, and cornbread, with a stone fruit crisp for dessert.
The fried chicken was the best I've had in San Francisco. Super tender, moist chicken coated in a crisp, well spiced coating. Cornbread was just the right amount of corn-y sweetness, the baked beans had a nice texture, and the black garlic mashed potatoes had a strange, murky color (like refried beans in appearance) and beautiful depth of flavor. The serving sizes were generous, yet we demolished everything on our plates.
The only disappointments were the pickled vegetables, which didn't have enough zing and spice from the pickling fluid, and the fruit crisp, which was a very small serving (maybe...half of a nectarine) in a very big cup, so it had this Alice in Wonderland-like undersized appearance that made it look comical and perhaps cheap, though the serving sizes of the other portions were so generous no one would walk away hungry.
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
Lark Creek Steak
845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103