The summer heat is setting in (though it’s hard to complain, with the North Bay’s divine Mediterranean climate). Still, with the sun shining brightly, and stone fruit celebrating its ripe, juicy season, our thoughts are turning to cool food.
Here’s where you’ll find us hanging out, licking our lips over locally grown delights:
Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar – The recipe for executive chef Andrew Wilson’s Stone Fruit Salad goes something like this. First, discover Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, California. Then, toss their fresh fruit (sliced peaches, apricots, cherries, plums) with Beecher’s Flagship Reserve Truckle cheese, torn brioche croutons and Sparrow Lane sherry syrup. Add some microgreens and frisée, and dig in.
1325 Broadway, Sonoma, (707) 931-2042, thelodgeatsonoma.com.
FIVE Restaurant – Executive chef Banks White always bases his menu on what is fresh and best at the locals farmers’ markets. His menu constantly evolves with delicious summer fruits, but this is a favorite we love: white peach salad with arugula, cheese, fennel, candied pistachios and roasted peach vinaigrette.
2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, (510) 225-6055, five-berkeley.com.
Picán Restaurant – Stick-to-your-ribs Southern food may not seem like light summer fare. Yet executive chef Sophie Uong adds a sweet twist to her seared cast iron wild catfish rounded out with Southern style “colcannon” of creamed collards, black kale and russet potatoes. The secret? A topping of local stone fruit “ham jam.”
2295 Broadway, Oakland, (510) 834-1000, picanrestaurant.com.
Perbacco - Peaches, apricots and plums may be sweet, yet they work so well for savory dishes, too. Paired with mushrooms, rich duck and fresh herbs, stone fruits bring a brightness and depth to all dishes. Chef Staffan Terje has put delicious new dishes on the menu spotlighting the fruit in unexpected and mouthwatering ways, such as pan roasted porcini mushrooms with Kashiwase Farm peaches in porcini-Parmigianino cream, or Liberty Farm duck breast with stone fruit and basil panzanella, Marcona almonds and apricot jus.
230 California Street, San Francisco, (415) 955-0663, perbaccosf.com.
Aurea at The Renaissance Stanford Court – Don’t forget dessert. The summer menu here features a tasty bread pudding studded with seasonal fruit like pitted local cherries and vanilla crème anglaise with blackberries and apricots.
905 California Street, San Francisco, (415) 989-3500, aureasf.com.
Baker & Banker - Wife and husband team, Lori Baker & Jeff Banker are loving summer with a plum and white nectarine crisp topped in brandysnap ice cream, or a roasted apricot brulée with pistachio ice cream and apricot sorbet.
1701 Octavia Street, San Francisco, (415) 351-2500, bakerandbanker.com.
Tip: Farmers’ markets are another rich source for stone fruit. Reserve a limo or Town Car and ask your Pure Luxury concierge to plan a day trip for you, visiting markets and wineries (sparkling wine, and crisp-to-slightly sweet white wines are wonderful with stone fruits), capped by dinner at a special restaurant.