Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ending Italy

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, Nov. 30, 2008

  • Nov. 27, 2008: Trattoria Milanese, Via Santa Marta, 11, Milan; tel. 02 8645-1991
  • milanese.jpg
    Trattoria Milanese
    THURSDAY WE REGRETFULLY ended a short sojourn in Milan with a meal on the via Santa Marta, where we were trying to find a trattoria we'd been to some years ago with a couple of friends. (One of them Marta, in fact, though not the saint, I'm afraid.) Googling for it I ran across the Trattoria Milanese, which seems to be on everyone's list, and I booked a table; when we arrived, we discovered the place we remembered was in fact across the street at No. 6 and was called Al Santa Marta. A man leaving the Trattoria said that Al Santa Marta was a restaurant; the Trattoria was a true trattoria, and specialized in traditional Milanese cuisine, so we stayed with our reservation. I opened with artichoke-and-Parmesan salad and went on to a costaletta Milanese; both were absolutely correct and perfectly ordinary; and I recalled yesterday's meal at Porta Rossa with regret. Could have gone back there!
    Vino bianco da tavola in caraffa


  • Nov. 28, 2008: Sole Luna Cafe, 702 Ash St., San Diego, CA 92101
  • THEN ON FRIDAY we had a long flight, Milan to JFK, then JFK to San Diego where we'd have a ten-hour stop before flying on yesterday morning to San Jose. (Such an itinerary is the penalty for flying on 'free' miles.) I won't write about the airplane food; it was edible, not interesting. Across the street from our cheap San Diego hotel we found Sole Luna, an Italian place, the only restaurant within blocks. Here I had a very good Martini, my first really good Martini in weeks, and a nice Caprese, with clean lettuces, flavorful tomatoes, and decent Mozzarella, dressed with a fine green olive oil. I'd go back there any time, and you almost can; it's open seven days a week, 10 am to 10 pm, and the Italian guys running it are full of heart: just look at their YouTube clip on the website.

  • Nov. 29, 2008: Bistro Liaison, 1849 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley California
  • YESTERDAY, ALAS, we were reminded we were in home at the Bistro Liaison in Berkeley, where we had lunch. (Chez Panisse was full.) I had what was billed as a Salade Niçoise. It came on wet, ragged lettuce, was loaded with untipped string beans, halved hard-cooked eggs, a barely grilled hunk of tuna as big as my shoe, chunks of boiled potato, a number of things that might have been peas, and half a big avocado cut into thick slices. It could have been better.
    Rosé "Vin de Cigare", Bonny Doon Vineyards

  • Nov. 30, 2008
  • TO FRIENDS for the remains of Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey brined by the butcher; conventional turkey breast (both roasted), Brussels sprouts en confit with onions, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce…
    A delicious dinner: and we do have things for which to be thankful.
    And we are.
    Pinot grigio; red wine "L. Preston"

    No comments: