Friday, May 13, 2011

Uni at Ame

Ame at the St. Regis

Uni is on my mind.

Uni on sushi. Uni tossed in pasta. And now uni on crostini with thin filaments of shaved lardo, cured Italian pork fat, hugging pillows of fluffy uni.

The myriad of textures and flavors – crispy, velvety, unctuous, smoky then briny – at this moment, seem to best the common nigiri. Why is it the Italians always have to up the ante on my favorite dishes. First it was bottarga, cured mullet roe, which I initially thought the Taiwanese version of thinly sliced bottarga stacked on slivers of radish to be the one and only version, until I had the bottarga pasta.

                                    Sea Urchin and Bruschetta with Lardo, Lemon and Sea Salt

And now this..

Now when I think of uni, it’s images of gossamer thin lardo enveloping sacks of urchin roe instead of the usual sushi that comes to mind.

Chawan Mushi with uni and lobster

Chilled Capellini Pasta with American Sturgeon Caviar,
Lightly Smoked Ocean Trout

My first instance of encountering this sinful creation was at Ame in San Francisco. But I’ve gotten wind that a small Italian eatery in New York also has kept this dish a permanent member on its ever changing menu. As for LA, you’re missing out.


689 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94105-4126
(415) 284-4040