Berkeley, January 16, 2014—LUNCH WITH A COUPLE of friends today, and since we were at a restaurant well known for its meat — in fact there's a good butcher shop here, and I bought a couple of pounds of duck confit before lunch, to make a cassoulet later on — I thought I'd have a classic: steak-frites.
It's a classic bistro dish, of course. Here I thought the steak a little too big, particularly since I'd made the mistake of ordering it "as rare as possible," and that's about what it was. I do like my steak bleu, which is to say quite rare, barely warm. But the cut used in the average steak-frites needs more cooking than that, else it is tough and chewy. My fault: not the restaurant's.
On this steak, a nice herb butter, surprisingly cold I thought. (We were eating early, though — 11:30 — and it may be that later in the service things are more au point.) And with it, very nice thin-cut french-fried potatoes.
FOR SUPPER, THEN, nothing needed but an omelette, which I cooked as I always do, in olive oil, with some grated cheese, toast on the side.
Zinfandel•Cafe Rouge, 1782 4th Street, Berkeley; (510) 525-1440