Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New to us

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Oakland, July 30, 2018—

THE PLACE OPENED ten years ago but for some reason we'd never been here. A convenient location for lunch with some old friends, we gave it a try.

We began with some very delicious green olives, dusted in crumbs and smoked paprika and warmed in a bit of olive oil; I went on to this plate of albacore, cooked just enough and served with a marvelous warm tapenade, I'd all it, of eggplant, tomato, fennel, red and yellow peppers, and onion, liberally sprinkled with good black pepper.

The menu and wine list is really quite interesting here; I think we'll be back for dinner one day…

     🍷Arneis: sorry; forgot to photograph the label. Gotta get back in the Eating Every Day groove, Shere!

Bellanico, 4238 Park Blvd., Oakland, CA; 📞+1 510-336-1180


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Eastside Road, July 29, 2018—
WHEN A DEAR friend comes up from the city to visit, and she's a chef, and she brings stuff for lunch, that's about as good as it gets. And when the stuff is the makings of BLTs, that's a notch better.

Surely one of the Hundred Plates, the simple bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is perfect hot-weather fare. This bacon is Niman; the lettuce and tomato came from Bob Cannard's Sonoma Mountain farm (I'm pretty sure); the bread is Acme levain, grilled in a little olive oil. (Black cast iron has a lot to do with all this.)

Only the mayo is store-bought, and I preferred one not shown in the photo, a tube of Zaanse mayonnaise — whenever we're in The Netherlands we bring a few tubes home with us.

The dill pickles are local to Healdsburg; I don't recall who makes the.

Dessert: a couple of white peaches sliced up with blackberries, Tayberries, and raspberries.

     🍷Fume blanc, Ferrari-Carano, 2016, very nice; thanks, Gaye…

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tuna-bean salad

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Eastside Road, July 28, 2018—

IT HAS BEEN a favorite go-to for many years now, especially in the summer, this simple salad, originally I think Tuscan. You can make it with canned beans, though Cook prefers to use dry cannellini, soaking and cooking them herself.

The tuna could also be cooked at home, I suppose, but there hardly seems any advantage to this; we always use good canned tuna. And Cook thought we had such a can in the pantry, but at the last minute discovered it was smoked tuna!

The result was, well, not salubrious. But perfectly edible. With the beans and tuna, chopped raw onion and celery; salt; perhaps some herbs…

Green salad with shallot vinaigrette; berries and ice cream.

     🍷Cheap pinot grigio

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Steak from the grill

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Eastside Road, July 28, 2018—
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THIS IS HOW I handled the London Broil yesterday. I generally prefer to grill a less lean beefsteak; I particularly like tri-tip or chuck — but others lean toward the lean, and why not accommodate?

So on getting it home I salted the steak on both sides, re-wrapped it, and set it in the refrigerator until an hour or two before cooking.

The fire was mixed mesquite charcoal — I like Lazzari — and grape wood, plentiful hereabouts.

I sliced a lemon thin and set the slices on the steak, along with a spray of rosemary, and drizzled oil on top.

The neighbor down the hill suggested covering the steak with aluminum foil, and in truth he'd taken over much of the duty while I moved from grill to bar to make Martinis.

Grilled on both sides, steamed somewhat under its cover, the steak was juicy and tasty. Green salad after, and wild blackberries and our own peaches over vanilla ice cream. It's a good life.

IMG 2718      🍷Red, Ocarosso Cuvée Rosso, nv: simple, a little earthy, a perfect barbecue wine

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Portuguese fish

Eastside Road, July 26, 2018—

WE WERE OUT across county, and a little hungry a little past noon, so we dropped in at a Portuguese place we've meant to try. The same chef had another place in our own town, and we've liked it, but it went out of business a month or so ago, so we particularly wanted to show some support.

I warmed up with three fine grilled sardines, served with a few delicious black olives on a bed of beautifully sweated minced onion — such a simple dish, and so artfully done.

I went on to this bacalhau, as the Portuguese insist on calling bacalao, or baccalà: salt cod and potatoes, served in a rissole in this version, with a hardcooked quail egg and a scatter of cress, in a pool of perfect olive oil. You can't do a lot better than this.

     🍷white, Alentejo, 2016, very good

•LaSalette Restaurant, 452 1st Street, Sonoma; 📞707-938-1927

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


risottoEastside Road, July 25, 2018——

RISOTTO TONIGHT, a dish Cook knows. I’ve mentioned, though so long ago it may have slipped your mind, that we do differ on one detail: I wait until most of the stock has been taken up by the rice before adding the wine; she adds it before any stock has gone in. I suppose she wants to be sure all the alcohol is cooked away. Curious. 

Afterward, green salad with a chopped-onion vinaigrette — I’ve been taken off salad detail — and then applesauce met gemberkoek. A treat!