Dana and I just had a lovely lunch at Chez Panisse Café. Dana has been going there since she was a kid (and once the pizza chef invited her and her sister into the kitchen to help make their own pizzas!) but it was my first time there. It definitely lives up to the hype. We each ordered an appetizer, entree and dessert, which we split about equally:
*baked goat cheese, with lettuces
*beets, fennel and potatoes with hard-boiled egg, anchovies and aïoli
*poached eggs with grilled bread and fava beans braised in milk
*fried halibut with salad and corn salsa
*lemon verbena ice cream with raspberries and toasted almond macaroon
*bittersweet chocolate mousse with whipped cream and Mexican wedding cookies
Interestingly enough, it was the desserts I liked least, perhaps because good desserts are a lot easier to find than really good main-course food, I think. The desserts were still great, but compared to everything else (which was perfect), they weren’t as good. I think their pairings were a little bit off–the toasted macaroon seemed too strong for the delicate ice cream, and the chocolate mousse and the cookies were both so good on their own there was no need to stick them together. But the entrees and appetizers… mmm. The potatoes, which were apparently just boiled, were amazingly tender, with very thin skins. All the lettuce-y salad-y things were delicious. The halibut was fish at its purest and best, and the breading was perfect. And the eggs! I am a big fan of eggs in almost any form, but a good poached egg is hard to find, and these ones were so good.
You do get what you pay for, though. Let’s just leave it at that.
We were going to go to Masse’s afterward, just because we were in the area and because by some incredible fluke Dana has never been there, but they are closed on Tuesdays. Our solution is to just go again on Thursday. 😀 On our way back to Dana’s car I discovered a cute fine jewelry shop, Aura, that I’ll be going back to at some point. Their website doesn’t do justice to the displays they had in their windows.
For photos of us, and some other new pictures, check my photo page.[link broken]
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]