Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Foreign Cinema

San Francisco and Mill Valley, November 3, 2015—
LUNCH WITH THE Baker's Dozen today, the organization of professional and amateur (in the best sense of the word) bakers we've been members of since its inception many years ago. It's a wonderful group, as generous and focussed as you'd expect bakers to be, meeting two or three times a year to hear a speaker or two, share news and queries, and then have a first-rate lunch at a favorite place of ours.

Lunch began with Little Gem lettuce salad with beet purée, radishes, and toast spread with fromage blanc — an interesting and surprisingly springy salad for a bright, sunny fall day. We went on to beautifully cooked pork tenderloin with broccoli rabe, a mixed pilaf of farro and quinoa with salsa verde and shavings of Parmesan cheese, and half a nicely cooked egg. This was a splendidly flavored dish, piquant, filling the mouth; vaguely north African once you got past the idea of pork.

Dessert: a generous pot de crème flavored with cardamon, with crisp spicy crumble on top, and a tiny but delicious little macaron on the side.

• Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco; 415-648-7600
We dawdled a bit after lunch, then joined a couple of old friends for supper in a small-town neighborhood Italian restaurant we'd not been to before. From the typical and conventional menu (salads, pizza, pastas, chicken or steak) I chose tortellini bolognese, perfectly acceptable though the sauce was heavy with tomato.

Pinot grigio; house red
• Vasco Restaurant, 106 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley; 415-381-3343
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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