Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Heart Nights

I just got back from tonight's special event at the San Francisco Ferry Building. It was the annual "From the Heart" tasting night, which plays into, of course, the upcoming made-up Valentines holiday. Tonight's event was actually the first part of a two-day event. It continues Saturday with the weekly farmers' market and cooking demonstrations showcasing romantic dinners and heart-healthy meals.

But I think tonight's event is really the highlight of "From the Heart." All the merchants and restaurants at the Ferry Building setup tables with little tastes for sale. Proceeds partly go to support the Slow Food San Francisco organization. It went from 5 to 8 p.m. and the line to buy tickets went out the Ferry Building. (You needed the tickets to exchange for the mini tastes like some kind of carnival.)

OK, you can't have Valentines-related food without oysters, right? Thank gaawd. I had a taste of these huge Oysterville oysters on the half shell from the San Francisco Fish Company. The oyster was plump and refreshing. (They're from Washington state.) What a great way to start the tasting. (And BTW, these oysters were much larger than those offered over at Hog Island Oyster Co.)

This table outside the Village Market and Specialty Food store was offering these beautiful sparkling water with flowers. The glass above had a hibiscus while another glass had a rose. I didn't try them but I thought they were sooo beautiful.

Frog Hollow Farms had a few turnovers. They had one with meat, and since Lent began this past Wednesday, I was abstaining from meat today. So I got one of these Mushrooms and Leek Turnovers. It was cold and I didn't really taste any mushroom or leeks. The puff pastry was nice, though.

This table outside the Prather Ranch Meat Co. included this piece of chuck with mole on a mini tortilla. Then the thing in the back was some kind of sushi thing. Both included meat, so I had to skip this table. Sorry Prather people.

Here was one of my favorite tastes of the night. This was the Cowgirl Creamery's offering of Sir Francis Drake triple-cream cheese on a slice of Acme walnut levain bread drizzled with lavender honey from Lulu. The cheese was amazing and I loved the lavender honey, of course. How can you go wrong with cheese and honey?

OK, more meat products I couldn't eat. This was pretty popular and they were Golden Gate Meat sausages on a stick. They offered up Italian spicy or mild. Sausage on a stick, who knew?

This is something I got from Ferry Plaza Seafood. It's a risotto cake with a small piece of fresh crab on top with red bellpepper and a parsley sauce. This was cold too. What's up with people not investing in burners? The risotto cake was OK and the crab was sweet, but I wish it was served warm.

This was one of two bands playing inside the building. I don't remember what they were playing. Some kind of jazzy thing.

Here's a Ferry Building volunteer helping out pouring wine at the many wine tables. I tried the 2005 Zinfandel from Cameron Hughes Winery from the Dry Creek Valley area. It was fantastic. It was smooth, full-bodied and oh so delish. The guy explained to me that the winery isn't really a winery but some third-party who gets the grapes and cuts out the middle person and then gets the wine into the stores. Huh? I didn't really understand what he was saying; I think the wine was already having an effect on me. ;-) All I know is it was good and he said I could find it at Costco, of all places. This is a nice value Zinfandel.

Just like how you can't have Valentines without oysters, you can't have Valentines without chocolate. So of course Michael Recchiuti was out in full force. He was there in person talking to customers and serving up his tastings.

Here's what you got for just one ticket from Recchiuti chocolates. (One ticket=$2.) It was a treat to get all this to end the night of tasting for me. Unfortunately, my brain was messed up from that glass of Zinfandel so I couldn't register anything they were telling me when they explained what was on this plate. I think the heart-shaped chocolate was 70 percent of something. Oh well, I just know they all tasted good.

An event at the Ferry Building is always a treat because no one can deny that it's a beautiful building in a gorgeous setting--especially on a Friday night that was slightly warm (which is fantastic after a week of rain). I heart the Ferry Building.

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