Saturday, October 20, 2012

Beef cheeks

Sonoma, October 20, 2012—
EVEN THOUGH THE LAYOUT of the menu was cluttered and confusing, I thought I knew what I wanted: steak tartare, then something called "Panisse cake": chickpea purée, sautéed chard, and marinated sheep's milk feta. I wasn't sure about that last component, which seemed to have nothing to do with what was otherwise ostensibly vaguely Niçoise cooking, but let's be adventurous.

But then the waiter announced the specials of the evening, which included this dish: beef cheeks braised in red wine with mushrooms and roasted potatoes, a fried egg on top. That, and half a fig and arugula salad shared with a friend, seemed a perfect dinner for a Saturday night out. I don't know that this is a great restaurant; on the basis of this evening it isn't appointed to the Hundred; but it was fun and sound and professional. A good Martini with a drop of Pernod in it to start — that didn't hurt.
Mourvèdre, Cline Cellars "Ancient Vines," 2011: nice.
• The Girl and the Fig, 110 West Spain Street, Sonoma; 707-938-3634

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