Friday, January 6, 2012

Lunches at Chez Panisse

Eastside Road, January 6, 2012—
THROUGH THE KIND of misunderstanding unique to long-married couples — involving inattentiveness and doubly rich lives — we were booked for two lunches today. Alice helped us finesse this by electing to nibble in the office, where we shared her delicious artichoke-capers-red onion pizzetta and garden lettuce salad.

An hour later we tucked into a more substantial lunch — in fact, Principal Meal of the Day, as we always refer to such lunches, which allow us to skip dinner altogether. I chose a half dozen Hog Island Sweetwater oysters on the half shell, ignoring the mignonette as I always do (for seawater is the best sauce to an oyster, I find), sharing a corner of L's puntarelle with anchovy, garlic, and egg, a combination that reminded me once again that we've ignored bagna cauda so far this winter: memo: correct that. I went on to a bowl of noodles with beautiful, deeply flavored, long-cooked beef ragù, and finished up with lemon sorbet with candied orange peel. Definitive.
Sylvaner, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ostertag, 2008 (long in the tooth but fine with the oysters); Zinfandel, Green and Red "Chez Panisse"
• Café Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 510.548.5525

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