Friday, May 11, 2007

Bar Crudo
Ithaca has been uncharacteristically hot, but alas, I only get to enjoy the nice weather from indoors. Being a student is a 24 hr job, especially during finals. That said, school ends in about a week or so, but I don't get to head back to California at all the entire summer. I'm sure Manhattan can handle my ravenous appetite, though a good portion of those meals will be takeout in the office. I guess that's "living the dream."

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Seafood platter - 6 oysters, 3 shrimp, 3 mussels, 3 clams, 1/2 lobster 35

During spring break, my coworkers from my summer internship and I rendezvoused at Bar Crudo. I had wanted to try it for a while, being a fan of raw bars and all raw things in general. I also knew that A's humor and M's wine expertise would make for a night of fun. We started off with the seafood platter, which consisted of a variety of oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster. I really liked the oysters and clams, but I wasn't so enamored by the lobster. The platter usually comes with 1/2 crab, but they were out that evening. I don't really dig lobster unless it's sous vide, and the lobster that night was way overcooked to the point of rubbery.

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Crudo Sampler 30
Rhode Island Fluke - golden beet, horseradish creme fraiche, caviar, chives
Tombo tuna - lobster oil, pineapple vanilla vinaigrette, chervil, Himalayan pepper
Dayboat Scallops - chickpea puree, wild arugula, lemon oil
Spicy Yellowfin tuna cubes - ginger, soy, wriracha, green onions

I always get very excited with crudo samplers. I reminisce about the fluke tasting I had at Le Bernardin, which thoroughly blew me away. The sampler at Bar Crudo was a hit or miss. The fish was fresh, but the flavor combinations make or break it. I really liked the spicy yellowfin tuna cubes; slightly sour and spicy with a hint of ginger, it was definitely very refreshing. The scallops and fluke were good also, and I really liked the golden beets in the fluke. The tombo tuna was quite offensive, however. The vanilla vinagrette was way overpowering and artificial-tasting, and with the slippery lobster oil, the fish came to taste like a limp piece of plastic.

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Arctic char - creamy horseradish, wasabi tobiko, dill 11

Our server mentioned the arctic char, which wasn't on the sampler. This actually turned out to be my favorite crudo of the night. I haven't had char much before, but with its red hue and fat content, I had assumed it to be related to salmon and steelhead. The char had a great creamy texture, without the pronounced taste of salmon. The light horseradish and wasabi tobiko also added a refreshing accent to the char. Next time I would only get this and the yellowfin tuna cubes instead of a sampler.

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Lobster salad - baby beets, pistachio, burrata cheese, mache, banyuls vinaigrette 14

The salad was pretty standard but good nonetheless. I celebrated the return of the baby beets, but I was not so fond of seeing the lobster. This time it was ever-so-slightly overcooked, but the rest of the salad was good.

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San Sebastian - tuna confit, asparagus, roasted red peppers, arbequins olives, caper berries, manchego, tomato bread 13

I read that the San Sebastian is the thing to order at Bar Crudo. Ironically, it turned out to be my least favorite dish of the night. The ingredients resembled a salade Ni├žoise, sans the lettuce. I suppose I don't like cooked tuna at all, but this tuna was just really overcooked. Since the highlight of the dish was ruined, I lost interest quickly.

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Steamed Manila clams and sweet main shrimp - troubadour blonde ale, fava leaves, pea shoots, beech mushrooms, green garlic 12

We ordered one hot dish that evening. The clams and shrimp were fresh and the pea shoots delicately cooked, but the broth was too salty.

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Truffles - earl grey, hazelnut, berry

Bar Crudo only offers truffles for dessert, and I believe they were from XO. Overall, our meal was a hit or miss. I would probably only stick with the crudos next time, specifically the arctic char and yellowfin tuna. Cute restaurant and nice staff though.

Bar Crudo
603 Bush Street (at Stockton)
San Francisco, CA 94108

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

Nice review. When I had the lobster salad at Bar Crudo, thankfully the lobster was not over-cooked, but I've only had it once, so I guess they're not consistent! Which is too bad. The arctic char crudo seems to be a consistent favorite, but I'm sorry to hear that the tombo tuna was unsuccessful. It looks like they've changed around some of the crudo offerings.

By the way, thanks for leaving a note over at short exact, and for introducing me to your blog! I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts, and the NY posts should be especially helpful in planning an upcoming trip to New York City :)

5/14/2007 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering, how can a college student afford to eat at all these expensive restaurants?

5/19/2007 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She sells her eggs to jewish mothers with barren children.

-CC

5/19/2007 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW that looks like it could be my favorite restaurant EVER!!!

9/22/2007 9:41 PM  

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