Category Archives: Lamb Chop

SF Chefs. Food. Wine. – CIRCA

CIRCA – CHEF ERIK HOPFINGER @ SF CHEFS. FOOD. WINE. 2009

At the inaugural SF Chefs. Food. Wine. weekend, Chef Erik Hopfinger of CIRCA participated in both Thursday’s opening night party and Friday’s Grand Tasting Tent, which was a magnificent array of food and wines spanning a 3.5 hour lunch. Hopfinger created a great dish for each SF Chefs. Food. Wine event.

THE GRADE: EXCELLENT (for both dishes)

CIRCA Chef Erik Hopfinger @ SF Chefs. Food. Wine. 2009

CIRCA Chef Erik Hopfinger @ SF Chefs. Food. Wine. 2009

MOROCCAN CRUSTED LAMB CHOP W/MINT CHIMICHURRI

For opening night’s “RISING STAR CHEFS” party, Hopfinger offered beautifully grilled lamb chops. Herb-crusted, Moroccan-style lamb chops with pomegranate reduction and a wollop of mint chimuchurri on top, this was an excellent dish and one of the best of the opening party. I could have eaten a dozen of them.

Moroccan-style lamb chop w/mint chimichurri from CIRCA.

Moroccan-style lamb chop w/mint chimichurri from CIRCA.

TACO CHIP w/GUACAMOLE & SALSA
Chef Erik Hopfinger’s second solid offering at SF Chefs. Food. Wine. 2009 was a tiny taco chip laden with a fantastic guacamole and salsa. The tomato and red onion salsa was chopped much more finely than salsa fresca, sitting delicately on the chip among a creamy nibs of guacamole. The bite was light, creamy, wonderfully fresh and vibrant. It basically felt like a beautiful late afternoon in Mexico on a plate, something of a transformative taste that rolled memories of sun, salty skin, and summer into your mouth with complete contentment. Another great little dish that demanded a second helping.

CIRCA Chef Erik Hopfinger's magic little tacos and salsa

CIRCA Chef Erik Hopfinger’s magic little tacos and salsa

LAMB CHOP

LAMB CHOP

THE DISH: LAMB CHOP BASQUAISE

The juicy, hearty lamb chop here is befriended by a lamb shoulder portion on one side and lamb loin on the other, across a bumpy tuft of gigante beans and a smattering of basil oil and what they call “zikiro” vinaigrette. Piperade offers three distinct lamb sections with great color, texture, and flavor in the dish they call “Lamb Basquaise Chop.” Gigante beans in oil give a great mild flavor and counterbalance to the richness of the lamb, and the vinaigrette provides an eye-popping verdant swirl around the plate rim to make a striking presentation.

Lamb Chop (with Lamb Shoulder & Lamb Loin), Piperade SF
Lamb Chop (with Lamb Shoulder & Lamb Loin), Piperade SF

THE SPOT: PIPERADE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Piperade is a favorite haunt of neighborhood ad execs who expend creative brainpower during the day and come here for after-work cocktails and Basque-inspired dining after 5. The bar is friendly and active, as is the service, and there’s a great big communal table to spark the opportunity for new friends. Fun place, great drinks, and generally really good food as well.

THE GRADE: Great (3 out of 5)

THE DAMAGE: $23

THE SKINNY: Piperade
1015 Battery Street, San Francisco CA
Phone: (415) 402-4892
Website: http://www.piperade.com/