That was day before yesterday, May 2. The previous couple of days we also ate at home, and I'm afraid I can only recall one of those evenings, when we had Cook's delicious hominy-chorizo casseroles.
LAST NIGHT we ate in Berkeley, taking our Australian house-guest for a treat. It was a marvelous dinner:
olives and pickled watermelon radish"Prosecco basilicato"
California halibut carpaccio with artichoke salad andd fried capersMelon, Lieu Dit (Santa Maria Valley), 2015
Pasta al forno with porcini and morels and greenpeasSecco Ca' del Merlo (Veneto), Giuseppe Quintarelli, 2014
Grilled duck breast and confit leg with favas, chard, turnips, and parsley sauceDuluc de Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien, 2009Frozen cassata with strawberry sorbettoMoscato d'Asti, Scopiio
By "basilicato" I simply mean the Prosecco was infused very lightly with basil leaves and a bit of Meyer lemon zest, makimg a very nice aperitif. The halibut carpaccio was a marvelous plate, strewn with nasturtum-petal chiffonade, the raw fish quite taming the earthy Melon.
The pasta was a sort of baked package, filled with mushrooms bound in a crème fraîche sauce, substantial and rather serious; and the duck was perfectly cooked and, again, very substantial, with fava purée, dark well-cooked erbette chard, and delicate glazed spring turnips, a classic dish. The wines, served as pairings, were exactly right.
•Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, California; 510-548-5525