Monday, March 31, 2008

Celebrity Chef & Cosmopolitan Cuisine

Citizen Cake is a scrumptious restaurant, bar, and patisserie, located on the edge of Hayes Valley in San Francisco. San Francisco has droves of delicious restaurants; however, the chef at Citizen Cake is what sets Citizen Cake apart. Elizabeth Falkner, the executive chef at Citizen Cake, is no stranger to awards and media attention. During her early years, Falkner focused on ‘the pastry kitchen’, but her imaginative cooking style lead to greater things…like her own restaurant. Magazines including: Food & Wine, Gourmet, and San Francisco Magazine, have praised Citizen Cake’s modern and innovative approach to food.

I came across Citizen Cake while watching the Food Network about a year ago. Elizabeth Falkner was on Iron Chef America challenging Cat Cora, in Battle: Honey. Although Falkner lost to Iron Chef Cora, she blew me away with her creativity and delicious food. I was ecstatic to learn that Falkner had her own restaurant in San Francisco (where I live). That next weekend, I drove down to Hayes Valley with my boyfriend to divulge in her creations…unfortunately, it was closed for remodeling.

After seeing a re-run of Rachel Rays $40 a Day that featured Falkner’s restaurant, I knew I had to go there! So after about a year, I was finally able to eat at Citizen Cake…and let me tell you, it was pretty delicious. The menu at Citizen Cake has so many delicious items, which are all reasonably priced, the least expensive item is six dollars and the priciest meal is thirteen. The menu options are not typical by any means…in a good way. A few examples include: “What that boy could do with brisket hash a sunny side up egg and balsamic”, “crispy cream is too sweet move on to these donut balls with our glaze and jam”, and “a soufflĂ©ed pancake betty’s and apparently the Dutch style with garnish”. I ordered the pancake, which was garnished with a cranberry compote. To be completely honest, I was not blown away. The pancake was a little “eggy” and the tartness of cranberry topping overwhelmed the dish. However, my date ordered the brisket hash and it was amazing!

The ambiance of Citizen Cake was interesting; between the bar, the restaurant, and the pastry shop, there was a lot to take in—but on a positive note, there was something for everyone! The bar is great for drinkers (obviously), the restaurant is perfect for trying an exciting new meal, and the pastry shop is great for kids. Even though I did not love my meal, I cannot wait to go back and try one of Falkner’s new creations!