Early Bird Special: Contigo
After scarfing pork-belly bocaditos and octopus salad at Contigo in Noe Valley, SF Weekly food critic Matthew Stafford gets all dreamy thinking about the vacay he took in Barcelona. Stafford thinks chef-owner Brett Emerson gets all the details right in this local simulacrum of the Catalan tapas bar. Drool over the full review later today at sfweekly.com. Meantime, here's a taste:
The similarities between the Bay Area and Catalonia are striking. Both regions have a fierce independent streak and derive much of their identity from the nearness of the sea. Both are dominated by cities renowned for their leafy, hilly charm and footloose sophistication. And both enjoy a proximal larder of seasonal produce, game, and seafood practically unmatched anywhere in the world ... and the wherewithal to enjoy them absolutely. Contigo, a new Catalan restaurant in Noe Valley, is a fine example of this duality in action. Here, specialties from Spain's northeastern reaches are prepared and served in an environment as lively and attractive as any Barcelona bodega, using foodstuffs sourced from Straus Family Creamery, Monterey Fish Market, Star Route Farm, and 42 other all-organic dairies, ranchers, and fisherfolk from our own back yard.