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Feb 11th
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On a Roll

dining1Sam's Chowder House brings New England-style seafood to Half Moon Bay
Perched on a cliff just south of Pillar Point Harbor, eco-friendly Sam's Chowder House offers sensational views and a respect for seafood that allows its flavors to shine. Voted Best Waterfront Dining last year by SF Gate's readership, its award-winning Executive Chef and partner Lewis Rossman seeks sustainable and local ingredients for his seasonal menus.

At Sam's the charcuterie, including cured salmon, is house-made, as are the dressings, pasta and sauces. Lobster clambakes are available for private parties with optional margarita and raw oyster bars, but there's also a "Party in a Pot"—a lobster clambake you can cook at home. The kids menu offers organic soft-serve ice cream, and follows the "Kids Healthy Choices" program.

The parking lots were full for a Sunday lunch, and despite the chill of overcast skies, jacketed patrons enjoyed live music on the deck. Without reservations we felt lucky to snag the last tall table in the tightly-packed bar. As a warm-up, the cup of rich New England Clam Chowder ($6.25) was actually a good-sized bowl, and wonderfully flavored with plenty of smoky bacon.

Four Blue Crab Cakes ($12.50), like golden golf balls with a crisp crust were moist in the middle; just crab with bits of celery, onion and herbs. On the side was a little salad of red and yellow bell peppers with fennel and cucumber in light vinaigrette.

The Beet Salad ($8.95) featured bitter greens and frilly frisée chicory topped with a large quartered strawberry, soft crumbles of feta cheese, and chilled cubes of saccharine golden beets. The outstanding dressing was based on a purée of roasted pistachios.

Phil Lempert, food editor of NBC's Today Show named Sam's Lobster Roll ($19.95) one of the five best sandwiches in America. Instead of a traditional hot dog roll, Sam's bread has a lovely fluffy texture reminiscent of brioche. Toasted and buttered, it was overflowing with large chunks of sweet lobster claw.

Desserts, too, are house-made, and Sam's Key Lime Pie ($7) is a local favorite. The sugary graham cracker crust was filled with rich, thick and tart custard the color of flan and topped with fluffy sweetened egg white meringue, lime slices, and powdered sugar.


Sam's Chowder House, 4210 North Cabrillo Highway (Highway 1), Half Moon Bay, (650)712-0245. Full bar. Serving lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit samschowderhouse.com.

 

H H H


'Tis the season for jumping on airplanes. Or waiting endlessly for them as the case may be, which might make you a little hungry. Check out airportdining.net, a yelp-like site for the jet set. At Chicago O'Hare, the cheese and caramel popcorn is said to be addictive. In Austin, enjoy a locally-brewed Shiner Bock with a Brisket Sandwich at The Salt Lick. And in San Francisco's International terminal, experience a traditional Japanese breakfast at Tomokazu. The site is relatively new, so during your travels, you could be one of the charter reviewers.

Comments (1)Add Comment
One restaurant at a time
written by Manu Hipkins, June 16, 2010
Congratulations to Sam's. The crew there is really outstanding.
Open and innovative. On the leading edge of restaurants supporting the call to eliminate childhood obesity. Thanks for your support Julie and Lewis!

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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