Dining Detectives: Piperade – San Francisco – Fantastic West Coast Basque Cuisine
There is a consensus among food lovers that Basque cuisine is some of the best in the world and that Piperade is one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Piperade is owned by acclaimed Restaurateur/Executive Chef Gerald Hirigoyen. He was named one of the ten best chefs in America, co-owns a vineyard called Arrels in the Priorat region of Cataluya, Spain and the Clos Pissarra Winery and has authored books including The Basque Kitchen and Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition.
Even the best restaurants in The City know that they have to expand or change to stay on top. Piperade which just celebrated their 10th anniversary wanted to accommodate the needs of their customers, as well as experiment with new menu items. They have expanded by opening a lovely banquet / special function room called Lauburu named after the Basque cross which symbolizes spirit and life. We were fortunate to attend a recent Luncheon which showcased Basque cuisine served traditional family style.
The starters included Piquillo Peppers with goat cheese, pistachios and golden raisins, fantastic Haricots Vert with figs, perfect blondes, walnut vinaigrette, delicious tender Calamari “a la Plancha” with fennel, olive, caper, coriander and lemon and exceptional tangy Warm Sheep’s Milk Cheese & Ham Terrine with Aged Sherry. The 2009 Txomin Etxaniz, Getariako Txakolina Gipuzkoa paired perfectly. The main dishes were fabulous as well. The Whole Sea Bass with fried garlic vinaigrette was fresh and delicate. The 2009 Allende Viura, Rioja wine paired perfectly. The meat course was a beautiful presentation of succulent Roasted Rack of Lamb with Merguez, fennel and Cumin-Date Relish. We enjoyed the 2007 Herri Mina, Cabernet Franc Trouleguy with this course. Next, we were served the perfect portion of a Selection of Cheeses from the Pyrenees, paired with a 2006 Arrels de Clos Pissarra, Garnatxa. The Desserts included Orange Blossom Beignets, Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut “Biarritz Rocher” and the traditional Basque dessert Gateau Basque, Cherry Preserves. What can we say, they were all spectacular! The 2009 Clos Uroulat, Jurancon was an excellent finish to our excellent Basque luncheon.
We loved every course that the Chef prepared for the 10th Anniversary Luncheon and concur that Basque Cuisine at Piperade is some of the best in the world. Restaurateur/Executive ChefGerald Hirigoyen told us that he is thrilled to have added the new stylish private dining room and looks forward to hosting both private events, as well as Winemaker Dinners.
By Carol & Joe Davis
1015 Battery Street (at Green)
San Francisco, CA. 94111