Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin, a food celebrity in her own right, breezed through town yesterday for a whirlwind of meals and an event to celebrate that new book we mentioned last week, America's Greatest New Cooks. Among the dozen chefs featured in what Cowin calls "a collection of mini-cookbooks" are Bar Tartine chef Nicolaus Balla, and b. patisserie's Belinda Leong. As it turns out, she hadn't been in San Francisco for over a year, and she's had her scouts recommending places to her. "What ends up happening is if I miss restaurants that end up getting featured in Best New Chefs while they're still new, I just have to move on to the next crop of new places," she tells Grub Street. "I'm only ever here for a short time." Thus, she had never herself eaten some of Balla's dishes in the book, like his Brussels sprouts with lime and cilantro, or his now beloved smoked potatoes. And on her list for this trip were new hot spots State Bird Provisions, Wise Sons Deli, Craftsman & Wolves, and Rich Table, where she had dinner with some of her staff last night.
She began the day with some "chunky pastrami" at Wise Sons.
Of State Bird Provisions she said, simply, "Loved."
Of Craftsman & Wolves, she raved, saying, "Jaded New Yorker that I am, I always love it when I can come out here and see something that I've never seen. And we don't have anything like that in Brooklyn or anywhere." Furthermore, she called it, "The most brilliant pastry shop I've seen in years."
And of Rich Table, she tweeted pictures of several dishes last night, saying "I'd sworn off anything with an egg on top of it, until now," tweeting this picture of a rabbit confit dish with an egg on it. Amusingly, yesterday's protest at City Hall over the proposed nudity ban held up her dining companions, so she bided her time with some Michel Forget sparkling wine.