Here it is... the restaurant in San Francisco I promised to talk about!
"Coqueta" located north of the Ferry Building on Pier 5 in the Embarcadero.
It’s Michael Chiarello's latest restaurant Northern California, just opening in April. Coqueta, meaning "flirt", is a Spanish restaurant with a touch of California.
I just loved the casual, rustic interior with an open kitchen, drape-lined giant windows, high ceilings, large burlap covered lighting fixtures and exposed timber.
The large open kitchen with the wood fired cooking grills really created a great ambience to the restaurant. They used black walnut and mesquite woods for cooking which added a unique flavor to their meats. The dining room had such a warm, cozy feel.
We started with these lovely little "Pintxos", bite-size skewers. Quail Egg, Pickled Mustard Seed and Jamon Serrano and Chorizo and Roasted Artichokes and Piquillo Peppers... such tasty little bites!
Next, we had the Grilled Iberico Secreto. Spanish butcher's secret cut of pork with "tximi-txurri" (in the Basque language meaning, a mixture of several things in no particular order) or Chimichurri and watercress. This cut of pork was "melt in your mouth" yummy. There were so many temptations on the menu, but I was excited to see how my Chimichurri measured up to theirs. I must say... it did. But, what made this dish special was the secret cut of pork.
The Paella looked amazing. We were admiring this dish when it came out to the table next to us. I think the people noticed us eyeing their food. They were very nice and couldn't wait to tell us about it. I just love it when people are excited to talk about food. They were happy to let me take a picture. The Gulf Prawns were just incredible looking. Next time I will definitely order the Paella!
I'm not a big fan of donuts, but I must say, Arthur's choice of desert, Crispy Spanish Donuts or Churro's with Drinking Chocolate and Mixed Berry Powder was pretty incredible.
Chimichurri is a traditional Argentine sauce and is usually served with barbecued meats, but really, it goes with everything. I've even seen it used over pasta, salads and grilled vegetables. It's such a versatile sauce. On Green Flash I serve it with grilled pork loin, steak or chicken. Here I served it over a grilled rib eye steak.
There is no cooking involved in making Chimichurri and is very easy to prepare with just a chef's knife. You can even make this sauce ahead of time. In fact, it just gets better with age in the refrigerator. There are many different versions of Chimichurri. Get creative and see what suits your fancy. You can add lemon or lime juice, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, fresh red chili pepper or shallots. I think it's hard to go wrong with this basic recipe. It's just so fresh, tasty and light!
Recipe Type: Sauce
- 1 C firmly packed fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, trimmed of thick stems
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves
- 2 T fresh Oregano leaves
- 1/2 C Olive Oil
- 2 T Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- Finely chop the Parsley, Oregano, and Garlic. Place in a small bowl.
- Stir in the Olive Oil, Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can make a day or two ahead.