Concord, December 28, 2011—DON'T ASK WHAT we're doing here; it's a stupid mistake. Mine, of course. But since we are here, why not stop off in Berkeley en route, for dinner downstairs?
It was delicious, of course, and the dining room looks so festive and inviting. We began with tasty green olives marinated with just the right amount of lemon zest, then went on to the table d'hôte menu:
Warm chicory salad with pancetta, farm egg and toasted hazelnuts
Steamed local ling cod and shellfish brodo
Spit-roasted Riverdog Farm chicken stuffed with herbs, ragoût of wild mushrooms
and roasted potatoes with green garlic
Apple and candied Meyer lemon galette à la modeThe whole meal was beautiful. The dining room was full; everyone seemed relaxed and enjoying the evening. I don't see how you can do any better than this, but then, I suppose I'm biased.Vouvray, Le Mont, Sec, Gaston Huet, 2007; Sauvignon blanc, Ojai, 2010; Santenay, Lucien Muzard, Champs Claude "Vielles Vines", 2009• Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; (510) 548-5525