Not your average oysters. (Courtesy of Waterbar)
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Anthony's is bringing five varieties of cookie, so bring your game face. (Courtesy of Anthony's Cookies' Tumblr)
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The only waffling allowed at the Best of the Bay party. (Courtesy of Stroopie Gourmet)
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San Francisco magazine’s most epic party of the year is this Thursday. Have you snagged your tickets yet? If not, act quick: It'll sell out! With 45 restaurants and many, many bars on site, you're going to need a game plan. Here, associate editor and SF food guru Carolyn Alburger offers her top bites of the evening.
1. Oysters from Waterbar
These aren’t just any oysters. In the VIP area, Waterbar will be serving Cove Miyagis grown by Scott Zahl in Tomales Bay. Park Ulrich is working on a seasonal variation on a mignonette to go along with them.
2. Seared Ahi from Navio
The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay just revamped its restaurant, and you can get a taste of what’s new at their booth, which will be right across from the Wells Fargo area. Try their seared ahi tuna bite with togarashi aioli and pickled carrots.
3. Gazpacho from The Corner Store
This is going to be a flavor bomb: The Corner Store’s Nick Adams is really upping the ante on his summer tomato gazpacho. It’s made with organic early girl tomatoes from Comanche Creek Farms, and topped off with the esssence of chorizo and creamy whipped horseradish.
4. Pork tamale from Nido
You can try Oakland’s newest farm-to-table Mexican restaurant, Nido, by way of their bite: An XL-sized tamale made from organic coarse corn masa, stuffed with shredded pork and ancho chili with summer pickled salsa on top.
5. Steak Tartare with Uni from El Paseo
Tyler Florence’s Mill Valley restaurant will be in the VIP area, serving tomato bread topped with steak tartare, and—since it’s prime time for sea urchin right now—uni. A chiffonade of basil balances things out.
6. Pork belly with apricots from Brasserie S & P
One of the more substantial bites on offer will be chef Adam Mali’s Fallon Hills Ranch pork belly served with prok rillette, sherry and roasted apricots. Guests are bound to flock to this table after they progress to a certain point in their drinking (if you know what I mean). Hit this table on the early side.
7. Cookies & Cream cookie from Anthony's Cookies
Right across from the Magnolia lounge, this little Mission cookie boutique will be bringing five different varieties to the party. The chocolate chip promise to disappear first, but I’d go for their cookies & cream cookie: a brown sugar cookie base with crushed Oreo chunks baked into it. You can’t get that anywhere else.
8. Stroopwafel from The Stroopie Gourmet
For dessert number two, hit up The Stroopie Gourmet for a Dutch-style Stroopwafel: Warm wafer-thin waffle cookies, fresh from the waffle iron, sandwich oozy, drippy caramel syrup. These normally cost $4 a pop, but at Best of the Bay it’s all part of admission.
Hungry yet? Buy your tickets here!