Tuesday, September 23, 2008

further adventures in food

There have been many adventures in food recently, and I'm way behind on blogging about them, but I'll start at the beginning anyway.

A few weeks ago, I finally made it to Chez Panisse. I'd been too lazy to make the effort, but my friend starting calling at 9am exactly a month before our desired date, and managed to secure a 9:15pm Friday reservation after calling for about 30 minutes.

Anyway, Friday evening we trekked out to Berkeley, where we were fed a four-course prix fixe. The menu changes every day (and there is only one menu per day) so we didn't know what we were going to get until a few days before. I unfortunately forgot to copy down the menu so this is from memory...

The first course was a salad of greens, tomatoes, and beans. What struck me about this salad was the amazing variety of ingredients; every tomato was a different type, and there were at least three kinds of beans. I'm not a huge tomato fan but I ate all but one (the largest).

Next up was (unfortunately for me) a salmon dish, with lemon and capers. I had them replace it with the vegetarian option, which turned out to be a zucchini. All reports were good, though. In fact, one person said this was his favorite dish of the evening.

For the third course, we had squab with figs and mushrooms. I sometimes don't like squab, but in this case it was very well prepared, and this was my favorite dish. The sauce was surprisingly light considering it had fig in it, and the figs themselves were very flavorful.

For dessert, we had a raspberry clafouti. I think I am just not that fond of clafoutis. I feel like they should be poufier, either like a puff pastry, or like a bread pudding. Alternatively, they should be more custard-y. As far as clafoutis go, this one was pretty good, and the ice cream was yummy.

Overall, it was a very satisfying meal. Although it might have been more awe-inspiring to have gone years ago, when not every restaurant in the Bay Area was serving locally grown organic seasonal ingredients, it was still great to have finally experienced the restaurant which invented California cuisine.

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