Friday, June 12, 2015

Catching up again


Eastside Road, June 11, 2015—

YES, IT TAKES a while to get back into the routine; I'm a few days behind here…

Tuesday of course was a fast day, our first in a month. I won't kid you: it took a while to get used to our modified fast when we took it up, a couple or three years ago — our usual breakfast of caffelattes and one slice of toast apiece in the morning; a good handful of mixed nuts and a couple of cups of tea in the evening; nothing else.

I thought it would be hard, after a month of determined dining in Italy, to get back to that routine. But in fact it was no trouble at all. It's amazing how much time and trouble it saves, and how easily you can get by for a day with nothing more — and how virtuous you feel…

But then yesterday the Principal Meal of the Day was at midday, in the Café: a fine rocket-Pecorino-hazelnut salad, beautifully balanced with oil, vinegar, and salt; and then this marvelous ragout of lamb shoulder, shell beans, and beans, impeccably flavored and all the textures just right.

Dessert was complex, vivid to the eye, fascinating: deep plum ice cream, strawberries, strawberry granita, rose-flavored ice cream, and a langue du chat.

Sauvignon blanc, Loire; Zinfandel, Green and Red

• Café Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; 707.548.5525

TONIGHT WE PICKED UP a third routine: Franco's fine sausage — "French Country" this time, mild yet savory — with steamed and buttered broccoli, just a touch of garlic. Green salad afterward, of course; and then a last wedge of the contessa's birthday cake, made of buckwheat flour — thanks again, Thérèse…

Cinsault, Preston of Dry Creek, 2013, fruity and forward
IMG_1206.jpg IMG_1211.jpg cake.jpg
Rocket salad Berry dessert Buckwheat cake

Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

1 comment:

Curtis Faville said...

We were at the Café on Thursday at 2:00, in the seating area on the "porch."

There are now four tables there, and the space seemed considerably larger than before the fire.

Our waiter insisted that "only 6 inches" had been added to the space, but I was skeptical. It looked more like 3 feet to me.

Maybe you can clear up this mystery.

I had the salmon. Perfect. And the corn and squash soup. Also perfect. And a perfect French Chablis.

All this perfection can spoil one. But at $233 before "tip"--not likely to be seen as a bargain.