Eastside Road, March 23, 2014—TO THE NEIGHBORING town of Sebastopol for dinner last night with an old friend. Well, counting Cook, two old friends. We tried out a place new to us, though apparently it's been open three or four years, and I began with half a Caesar Salad, tempted by the warning on the menu that it involved raw egg. It was correctly dressed, but the romaine was chopped, and I didn't detect any anchovy. And so it goes.
The steak au poivre wasn't bad — four hunks of steak, each about the size of a marshmallow, in a nice cream sauce with the requisite peppercorns. Quite nice mashed potatoes on the side, and a few stalks of grilled asparagus. The girls said their ice cream was delicious, but I was happy without dessert…
Pinot noir, Balletto (Russian River Valley), 2012: good fruit, a little too much vanilla — from new oak?• Woodruff's Artisan Foods & Café,, 966 Gravenstein Ave, Sebastopol, California; (707) 829-2141
AND TONIGHT WE DINED at home, as we occasionally do. The chard has volunteered several plants all of a sudden, and Cook had a number of other vegetables to use up, so she whipped up this minestrone, much nicer than my poor photo suggests, with potato, carrot, chard, and Asclepius alone knows what else, with a healthy dusting of Pecorino on top. Before it, a fine guacamole; afterward, a small ice cream sundae with chopped nuts and whipped cream.