IT HAS BEEN ANOTHER of those busy weeks, with company (desired), day-trips (one requisite, one out of cultural curiosity), and your usual spring-is-coming house-and-grounds stuff. So here's a quick roundup.
Sunday, February 19, at home: this fine plate of fusilli with Cook’s tomato sauce; green salad; and afterward blood orange upside down cake, apparently because someone asked for the recipe.
Monday: more or less a fast day
Tuesday: Company for dinner — vegetarians. We started with olives, crackers, and Mt. Tam and Gorgonzola with a bottle of white; then penne with three kinds of mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, browned under the broiler; green salad; that upside-down cake. Garnacha, Laya, 2015
Wednesday: In the interests of further research into the best local Margherita, and because we were in the neighborhood, we stopped in at a place we’ve been curious about, generally praised for its pastas and pizzas. My companion liked her pasta very much; I thought my Margherita second-level. Definitely good, I’ve had inferior ones elsewhere, but not up to the one I had last week. The crust seemed too soft and puffy to me, and the cheese — a California buffalo-milk “fior di latte” Mozzarella-type — wasn’t really on the mark.
Yesterday: On the town again. I lunched on a “croque-monsieur” which turned out to be a buttery grilled ham and cheese with a nice little green salad at
•Cocoa Planet, 921 Broadway, Sonoma, California; +1 (707) 721-1275
and then dined soon after with my best friend at perhaps the best Mexican restaurant within miles, where I had a couple of Niman-Schell pork tamales in a rich savory sauce with an interesting and resourceful shredded salad on the side. I can’t recommend this place enough.
THEN TONIGHT Cook sautéed fingerling potatoes and whole peeled cloves of garlic with some slices of Italian sausage and lots of rosemary in the black iron skillet, and steamed some frozen peas. The sausage was Niman Schell, rather like frankfurters I thought. This was the day Cook found nice big rosettes of mâche somewhere in the garden, which made a fine green salad; and there were clementines for dessert. And there's your week.