What was my favorite sammie of 2010? This one. Why? Allow these two words to sink in: Bacon. Remoulade. It’s a good thing I don’t live closer to Hog Island Oyster Company at Napa’s Oxbow Public Market or we’d be in big trouble. Since we’re among friends here, I confess that I had two of these po’ boys in as many days last week when I was visiting my parents for Christmas. My sister staged an intervention when I began making noise about returning for a third. Here’s the not-so-skinny: Four beer-battered and fried Hog Island Sweetwater oysters atop a bed of bacon remoulade on a toasted potato bun. Those sweet and briny Sweetwaters against that smoky remoulade with just a squeeze of lime juice is just about as good as it gets.
Posts Tagged ‘Oxbow’
Yesterday morning my sister and I ran 8 hilly miles through the misty vineyards and woods in St. Helena. We were hellbent on undoing any good we might have achieved, and so hightailed it to Hog Island Oyster Co at the Oxbow Market in Napa for lunch. The dozen oysters—Hog Island sweetwaters—would have been virtuous enough had we stopped there. But we didn’t. Instead we piled on with a pint each of Lagunitas IPA and steaming bowls of clam chowder, which consisted of Manila clams, bacon, potatoes, carrots and celery in cream. Mr. Foodinista, who did not run 8 miles, must have been experiencing fondue withdrawal from the other night. He opted for a grilled cheese sandwich featuring Cowgirl Creamery Gruyère and Fromage Blanc with housemade pickles. I may have indulged in (read: demanded) a gooey delicious bite…
Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving my sister and I drive out to Hog Island Oyster Co in Tomales Bay—about an hour’s drive from our parents’ house—and get 5 dozen oysters, which we like to chase with Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs. (Whomever ends up with the unenviable task of shucking the oysters, we dub the “mothershucker.”) A few years ago, Hog Island opened up a satellite restaurant at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, but just last November they opened a third location at Oxbow Market in Napa. This is GREAT news for future visits.
On Saturday afternoon, we stopped by the new oyster bar for a quick dozen—six Sweetwaters from Tomales Bay, six Kusshi from BC. The Sweetwaters are my absolute favorite—smokey sweet and briny. If you see them on a menu, order them without hesitation! The Sweetwaters are the ones with the fluted shell:
Couldn’t resist a pint of Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, a seasonal beer released each January. It’s a little bit sweet (kinda tastes like figs), and is a great match with the Sweetwaters in particular.
The English muffins at the Model Bakery in St. Helena are what I crave most when I come home to visit my parents and sister. They’re made from Ciabatta dough and then griddled in cornmeal. Yeah, real, real good. This morning, we met my sister for a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at Model. The breakfast sandwich is made on one of these heavenly English muffins with scrambled egg, sliced ham and cheddar cheese. And thus begins my sympathy-carbo-loading for her marathon run tomorrow. Breakfast of champions!
Rumor is that Model might shut down its original St. Helena location, and just keep their new bakery open at Oxbow Market in Napa. I think I would throw myself into traffic if this happened. Model has been around for more than 80 years; bread is still baked in ovens from the 1920s, and it has been my neighborhood bakery since I was a kid.
Arrived at my parents’ last night just in time for our Christmas Eve ritual of fondue. My father had selected a careful blend of cheese from Oxbow Cheese Merchants: Beeler Gruyère with almost mushroom nuances, Mt. Vully Swiss for a creamy note and a French Basque cheese called Pilota, which added a nutty flavor. We use a dash of St. George Kirsch, a cherry brandy distilled locally in the Bay Area,mixed with cornstarch and some bone -dry Sauvignon Blanc. The trick is to rub the pot with garlic before melting the cheese. My sister has an uncanny knack for picking perfectly ripe avocados, which she used for a Butter Lettuce and Radish Salad with Tarragon—a perfect counterpoint to the fondue. The acid in the shallot and Champagne vinaigrette cuts through the richness of the fondue, while the Marc Kreydenweiss Lerchenberg Pinot Gris from Alsace complements the cheese blend with its rich pear and hazelnut notes. (Can you tell I’m crazy about this producer!?)
Christmas Eve dinner is always a tough act to follow, but soaking artisanal Italian country bread from Grace Baking in Berkeley overnight in Bud’s Ice Cream Egg Nog—the world’s best commercial eggnog—and farm fresh eggs for French toast on Christmas morning does the trick.