Duck Mousse and Gazpacho from Hillside Supper Club
Dollops of whipped duck liver mousse on toast demanded a chaser of refreshing watermelon gazpacho. An undercurrent of smoked chili kept it from being too fruity.
Pizza Bianca from Locanda
I circled back to Locanda three times for just one more slice of pizza bianca. The oblong flat loaf baked by Panorama Bakery in Potrero Hill glistened with olive oil, a chewy-crisp base for fat figs and La Quercia prosciutto, produced in Iowa and sliced throughout the event by Chef Anthony Strong. His last touch was a squirt of fig molasses.
Pea Custard from Serpentine
Innocent enough until you spooned into the milky, thick spring pea custard. A balancing tousle of tangy mushrooms and a few licorice greens bobbed on top.
Pork Rillettes from Slow Club
Pickled strawberry jam balanced the richness of the rillettes smeared on chewy French baguette.
Bean Salad from A16
Plump yellow wax beans, blue lake beans, and haricot verts mingled with salty cubes of house-cured pancetta in a red wine vinaigrette, made meaty with rendered pancetta fat. People snatched up sweet chasers of buttery lemon thyme shortbread and chewy chocolate espresso cookies made with hazelnut flour.
Casoncelli and Zabaglione from RistoBar
Stuffed pasta called "casoncelli" is a Lombardian specialty, and here each pinched parcel concealed a buldge of veal, prosciutto, pork tenderloin, and pancetta. For dessert, owner Gary Rulli riffed on his Italian grandfather's summertime staple of peaches and red wine to create a lambrusco-infused zabaglione made with St. Benoit milk. The base layer of fresh peaches released their juices, becoming slightly jammy under weight of the custard.
Salmon Crudo from Coco500
Bright salmon crudo held its own under a medley of tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in a savory ponzo and yuzu vinaigrette. Mixed microgreens that included daikon sprouts, mizuno, and minty shiso crowded on top.
Piatti of Mill Valley
The Mill Valley branch of this Italian chain made its own ricotta to cushion roasted sungold tomatoes. They also served one of the least attractive but best-tasting dishes of the event—a cold beige soup whose color belied a burst of sweet corn blended into a puree with almonds and finished with a drop of chili oil.
Almanac's Farmer's Reserve No. 3 has a faintly fruity scent; the brew is aged with strawberries and nectarines in a wine barrel for one year.
Escabeche from Thirsty Bear
This organic brewery and favorite happy hour hangout paired its brews with a pleasantly fishy escabeche of pickled shrimp, rock cod, smoked mussels, and vegetables.<
FGR Assorted Chocolates
Award-winning chocolatier Frabrizio Galla brought grand marnier truffles, bon bons in flavors like pistachio praline with sour cherry, and chocolate-covered dried fruits and nuts, which he arranged between two towering chocolate sculptures.
But the shocker sweets were the unassuming cuboids called "liquorini," whose crunchy shells shattered between your teeth and sent a shot of amaretto, grand marnier, grappa, or limoncello down your throat.
Bignès from Ca' Momi Napa Valley
Light and crunchy choux pastry surrounded a filling of cold pastry cream for these bite-sized treats, one hazelnut chocolate and the other vanilla glazed in hardened honey.
Each packaged set of these lush truffles was designed to be paired with either whiskey, wine, or beer. Their distinctive texture was reminiscent of cheesecake, and indeed, the mother-daughter duo behind the brand said they were trying to approximate the texture of brie when they made them.
Gelato from Naia
To make its Blue Bottle gelato, Naia receives its beans within two days of their roasting. Master confectionary shop Recchiuti produces the custom sugar syrup for the burnt caramel gelato, which clever guests took to the salt-tasting area to sprinkle with some Maldon flakes.