Caviar has been turning up everywhere this year, a sign that the times, they may be a changin'. With access to sustainable sturgeon and a newfound surge of creativity, these restaurants are allaying ecological concerns about what was once perceived as an environmentally unfriendly product and elevating the art of the incredible edible fish egg. Here are some upstart newcomers and seasoned veterans worth visiting in California, where the trend is centered, when you have an urge to toast in style:
San Francisco: The Newcomer
The luxe new San Francisco bar The Treasury sources its caviar flights from Tsar Nicoulai, a local producer that uses sustainable American White Sturgeon. While pairing Champagne wishes with caviar dreams remains a popular choice pretty much everywhere, Carlos Yturria, partner and bar director, steers his customers toward a more unusual—and some would say superior—choice: sherry. He will offer you the finest bubbles if you like, but if you want his recommendation, go for a sherry like the Manzanilla, the Fernando de Castilla Fino, the Fernando de Castilla Amontillado, or all of the above.
San Francisco: The Classic
Like The Treasury, Michael Mina is set in SF's Financial District, a perfect place to toast big-money deals over a plate of caviar. Here, the eggs shine in a caviar parfait made with a potato cake, hardboiled egg, smoked salmon and creme fraiche. If this thing gives you serious FOMO and you can't get to California, the creation can also be found at Mina's eponymous restaurant in Las Vegas and at Bourbon Steak in Miami. Or if this is not quite decadent enough for you, Mina's RN74 restaurant will serve you your Osetra caviar with uni (sea urchin) in an incredible brioche donut wrapped in speck, for $75.
Los Angeles Area: The Newcomer
Italian caviar takes a lead role on the menu at the new Obicà Mozzarella Bar in Santa Monica, where opulent toppings like shaved truffles crown the mozzarella that's flown in from Italy and the burrata that's hand-pulled in Santa Barbara. The latter provides a luscious base for the caviar, presented on soup spoons for an opulent amuse bouche.
Los Angeles Area: The Classic
Nearby in West Hollywood, a cafe outpost of the legendary French company Petrossian has been making ordinary dishes like a wedge salad, pizza or a fried egg sandwich extraordinary for years. The phrase "treat yo self"? It was probably born here.
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