I firmly believe in the philosophy that you can never have enough garlic. As the veteran journo Morley Safer once said, “With enough garlic, you can eat The New York Times”. True, except when you’re served a garlic-knobby (rather than smooth and unctuous) bagna cauda at The Stinking Rose. This is a fun, three-restaurant chain (with lots of eyeballs and kudos from Beverley Hills right up to San Francisco) and not one, but two, garlic-themed cookbooks inspired by its mantra “we season our garlic with food.”
It has a fun display of intensely garlicky items, souvenir mugs, T-shirts, garlic ice cream and wine for sale from Chateau Garlic.
But its bagna cauda is a good example of what can go wrong if garlic is used to make a statement rather than serve as the still small voice of a complex combination of melted anchovies and olive oil (and butter if you want it). Lemon zest and a few drops of lemon juice should round off the bagna cauda nicely.
Aficionados would know that a real bagna cauda looks something like this:
(And Adam Roberts’ excellent recipe, courtesy Nancy Silverton is to be found here.)
Here’s the one they served us at The Stinking Rose North Beach: