Eastside Road, December 20, 2011—I DON'T KNOW WHY I ordered it. Years ago I heard someone refer to me, not knowing I could hear, as a francophile: perhaps I am. I do think Sole almondine is one of the great dishes, though not perhaps one of the Hundred Plates. Essentially it's just sole fillets, floured, dipped in beaten eggs, cooked in butter, and sauced with almonds that have been toasted in the pan drippings, which are then combined with lemon juice and white wine.
I expected something along those lines, though I knew it would be Petrale sole, not the Dover sole this quintessentially Parisian dish really requires. What arrived, though, was a Provençal take, heavy on the lemon, even heavier on vinegary capers. The almonds were not slivered but halved, and there were too many of them. The fish was a bit dried out.
Let's not be overhasty in blaming the restaurant: I ordered badly. I knew I was ordering badly when I did it. I should have had the fish tacos. Next time I will. I did like the buttery spinach, though, and the French fries. And the flourless chocolate cake, with a couple of ice creams, was marvelous.
Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina, 2010• Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar, 403 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg; 707.433.9191