Anchovies are suddenly everywhere in the Bay Area. This spring, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, the duo behind State Bird Provisions, are set to open Bar Anchovy, a cozy oyster bar with a focus on local anchovies just around the corner from their hit restaurant in the Fillmore District.
A few weeks ago at MAMA Oakland, my order of bread came with anchovies and butter—a much bolder offering than balsamic and olive oil. At Berkeley’s Bar Sardine, a nighttime pop-up at the Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar, anchovies make an appearance on sandwiches alongside the less salty and oilier sardine. And in summer, a tin of anchovies is a staple in my pantry; they pair well with the sweetness of Early Girl tomatoes and any soft, creamy cheese. Though imported anchovies are common in the Bay Area, the Northern anchovy found off the coast of California is designated as a sustainable fish by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and available year round.