I'd never been to Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, but I had heard of it. Even though it's over a decade old, it continues to be one of San Francisco's most beloved restaurants. It serves simple Mediterranean food - its signature dish is roast chicken - and has a daily changing menu. It has a reputation for bad service, though, and it seems to attract both hipsters (still!) and foodies.
I had perused the Zuni Cafe cookbook at the library before and it came immediately to mind when I was in need of a menu of simple dishes that could be made ahead (I had unwittingly double booked myself and agreed to go to a BBQ on the day I had invited a friend for dinner). It was a great choice. I was able to make most of the food the night before, it all held very well and dinner was a success - the food was simply delicious.
Settling on the menu wasn't too difficult. I hesitated a bit before deciding on the braised oxtails, as I had just made oxtails for my Ante Bellum dinner, but Mike wanted them and I figured it was about time I learned how to braise. I was meaning to serve a cheese course before dessert - and had even bought two Basque cheeses for it - but I completely forgot to serve them. Oh well, more for me.
In all, I couldn't have been happier with the meal - so much that I'm definitely planning to have dinner at Zuni Cafe sometime soon.
- Bread and butter
- Savory Onion Tarts
served with a mixed-greens salad (supermarket bought)
- Oxtails Braised in Red Wine
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
a Zuni specialty
- Chocolate Pots de Crème
with optional whipped cream
We accompanied the meal with a Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
by Judy Rodgers
Norton & Company
New York, 2002