Berkeley, April 21, 2015—
NO TIME FOR a proper dinnertime dinner today, so we made do with a substantial lunch instead. We began by splitting what has to be my favorite pizzetta: tomato sauce and brandade, flavored as I recall with green olives and herbs.
I went on to this quite piquant pork shoulder, braised, then served in a sort of stew with broad beans, garbanzos, carrots, and cilantro, with steamed rice, itself flavored with mint, I believe, and cilantro. The dish was piquant with pepper and cumin; on the whole the Café seemed to be Californio today.
Dessert: Meyer lemon ice cream merengata: on a bed of crisp meringue, softened with its judicious whipped cream, heightened with candied kumquat. A delicious meal!
• Café Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; 510-548-5525