Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back to Berkeley

Berkeley, February 19, 2011—
SINCE THE MENU was dedicated to Lindsey, how could we not return for dinner upstairs in the café? A number of items were favorites of hers, and of course the desserts were all from her repertory — I wonder how huge that repertory is. We began with sweet oysters on the half shell from Tomales Bay, with a glass of sparkling wine.
Then I went on to brandade on toast, a particularly creamy version with cardoons and chervil, and duck confit with asparagus, potatoes, and kumquaat relish, with huge tender miner's lettuce leaves. A rich dinner, no doubt about it. Desserts were Jim Churchill's kishus with rich buttery dates, apple tart with chestnut-honey ice cream, almond tart, plum-blossom ice cream, and blood-orange and tangerine bombe with candied kumquats. After all, there were four of us at table.
Gavi, Vigneto Masera, Stefano Massone, 2009; Trousseau, Côtes du Jura, Domaine Labet, 2007 (an amazingly complex and changeable wine, quite delicious and interesting)

• Café Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; tel. 510.548.5525

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