Monday, October 12, 2009

Californiamastication: The Final Chapter

It is wild to think that I was in California on Wednesday. It seems like eons ago. The South just sucks you back in, sops you up like mud in a marsh.

Last Monday was a magical day of eating. Above is a beet salad I had for lunch at Chez Panisse. Chez Panisse is one of those place where I think it is truly impossible to have a bad meal. Alice Waters and her kitchen know exactly what to do with fresh organic, local they should since the restaurant has been in full swing for over 30 years. Namely, they don't do much to them because they are more or less already perfect.

At our garden at 29 South our beets are sprouting, and butter lettuce is on the way. I plan to recreate this salad come December from our homegrown veggies. Can you believe the color of that beet above? Nature's candy.

After lunch at Chez Panisse, that evening we had a romantic dinner at Kokkari Estiatorio. You know a restaurant is going to be fabulous when there is a huge fire place with a rotisserie laden with meat slowly turning above the flames. Chef and I celebrated our anniversary at this San Francisco hot spot over unbelievably delicious Greek food. As much as I love our daughter, after literally 20 meals in restaurants over the course of a week with her by my side, it was wonderful to be able to sit and have a meal without the little barbarian.

We started with Dolmathes, grape leaves stuffed with rice, mint and dill. I am a bit of dolmathe snob and these were the best I have ever had. Next course, I had an appetizer of grilled artichoke and eggplant that was simple and exquisite. It was sprinkled with herbs, drizzled with olive oil with house made Greek yogurt on the side that was the most creamy yogurt I have ever tasted. Main course, I had a fish similar to snapper, but can not recall the name through my pregnancy fog...Chef the lamb. For dessert, we had 2, but the most memorable was a fig tart topped with some sort of cheese that was unbelievable. To make the experience even better, the service was fantastic. Kokkari. It was the best meal we had during our entire trip. Kokkari. Remember it if you are in the Bay Area.

Now we are back in the dirty 'Dina. It is 90 degrees in October. Why?


Anonymous said...

florida is a hell hole of heat. i've not been able to come to terms with this huge problem since I've arrived back from France 4 months ago. i am already searching for where to move next year. i cannot handle my brain (and skin) being fried for the rest of my life!! aahh! and on top of all that...I miss a REAL DEAL fall!!! xoxo Heather

The Blushing Hostess said...

Oh, where was I? Perfect place for a spot of fall lunch...