Scanning The Menu: Watermelon

Sometimes, you have cravings. We know this. Hence: Scanning the Menu, a new feature where the MenuPages Blog (and our trusty Find-A-Food search) will do all the leg work for you. Every week or so, we’ll highlight a particular crave-worthy dish and illuminate restaurants around the city where you can indulge in it. Suggestions always welcome. This week: watermelon.

Nothing says summer quite like throwing the better part of your face into a big chunk of crisp, juicy, tasty watermelon. Along with iced tea, stone fruit and maybe basil, watermelon is the epitome of summer seasonal goodness. Of course, being in the gastronomical mecca that is the Bay Area, local restaurants–including two of the city’s newest in Spruce and Bossa Nova–have no problem taking watermelon above and beyond the pedestrian by-the-slice picnic fare.

So, without any further ado, here are some places to find the best watermelon dishes in the city, from cold soups and micro-green-laden salads to frou-frou desserts and rum-laced cocktails:

Ramblas Tapas Bar: Yellow and Red Watermelon Gazpacho ($5.95) with coriander, mint and yogurt: Ramblas receives bonus points for finding and using yellow watermelons. Also, mint and watermelon are a match made in heaven.

Four Seas Restaurant: We’ve never seen Diced Watermelon Soup ($7.75) in a Chinese restaurant before. Has anyone sampled it?

Coco500: The Organic Melon and Watermelon appetizer dish ($10) gets a salty-sweet-tangy sensation with the addition of ricotta salata, agave nectar, lime and almonds.

Jardiniere: It’s almost as if Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad should be a California cuisine staple. Traci Des Jardins’ version is served with lucques olives, sheep’s milk ricotta and red wine vinaigrette ($16).

Spruce: Spruce is the only restaurant we could find that adds any meat or fish to their watermelon dish. So if you want coppa and cured sardines with your Watermelon and Rucola Salad ($10), check out Sacramento Street’s newest addition.

Bossa Nova: The watermelon drink ($8)–made with watermelon-infused rum, fresh watermelon, lime, mint and agave nectar–is just one of many fancy, fruity cocktails on the drink menu at Bossa Nova.

Brick: Always the unique one of the group, Brick’s watermelon salad–and we use the word “salad” loosely here–tosses in pickled strawberries and red onions and tops it off with chocolate vinaigrette.

Scanning The Menu: Watermelon