SFGATE HIGHLIGHTS DOC’S ROAST CHICKEN
Jan 24, 2015 Published in SFGate.com
Roast chicken has been a staple on trendy Bay Area menus since Zuni started preparing theirs in the wood oven nearly three decades ago. While others had done it before (often it was called the much less glamorous “baked chicken”), it was Zuni that put a fresh face on it with a bread salad that included pristine local greens and currants.
It’s still a popular dish, but now I’ve seen a similar wrinkle at three different places, led by Tosca Cafe, which was reborn by April Bloomfield last year. The bronzed pieces ($42 for two people) are arranged on a thick slice of grilled bread that’s been spread with the bird’s ricotta and pine nut stuffing and dipped in the natural juices. A subtle Marsala sauce accents the combination. The chicken is exceptional, but the bread is every bit as much of a star.
Not far away, Doc Rickett’s chef, Justin Deering, accents the natural flavor of the chicken ($22) with liver toast and a sherry sauce, along with fingerling potatoes and brocollini.
At The Commissary, Traci Des Jardins’ restaurant in the Presidio, the plate looks like a deconstructed bread salad. The chicken ($26) is chunked and nestled in a natural juice sauce, with a thick slice of bread spread with the chicken liver mousse and a scattering of frisee over the top and little piles of chopped dates which give the same sweet bursts as the currants in the Zuni salad.