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Monday, February 21, 2011

No. 62: Cotogna's Roasted Carrots

Posted By on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM

click to enlarge Carrots with honey and anise, $6. - STEWART ALSOP/FOODSPOTTING

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

click to enlarge sf_92_thumb_205x203.jpg

There are a lot of chefs roasting tiny carrots right now ― in ash or hay, tossed with pickled garlic and brown butter, with carrot puree and fried lentils. Each chef, it seems, tries to bring out some new facet of every liberal baby's favorite snack food. Reclaiming the mundane carrot seems to be as much a showpiece of a cook's skill as what he or she can do with a pig ear or an octopus tentacle.

At Cotogna, Michael Tusk and chef de cuisine Ryan Childs slow-roast slim, multicolored, finger-length carrots from Marin Roots or Mariquita Farm

in their wood-fired oven, tossing them with honey from the hives on the

restaurant's roof. The carrots soften ― not to mush, mind you, more

like the halfway point between roasted potatoes and chocolate ganache ― and their flavor deepens and becomes densely sweet. Flecked with anise seeds that burst with each bite, the roasted carrots are

less a side dish than a dessert.

Cotogna: 490 Pacific (at Montgomery), 775-8508.

Dishes in our series so far:

92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup
72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk
71: Boudin noir at Cafe Bastille
70: Blackstrap molasses gingerbread at Lotta's Bakery
69: Plow's crispy potatoes
68: Prospect's Catcher in the Rye
67: Pork banh mi from Little Vietnam Cafe
66: Nakaochi at Ippuku
65: Sidekick's chocolate spritzer
64: Farmhouse Culture's horseradish-leek sauerkraut
63: Destination Baking Co.'s challah

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Follow me at @JonKauffman.
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