Friday, April 01, 2011

Lunch at Chez Panisse

I was out of town for a few days. The weather in California was pretty crummy, alas, but it may be what allowed us to get a last-minute lunch reservation here:
We were eating in the "café" upstairs. The downstairs, main restaurant is dinners only, prix fixe. Upstairs is lunches and à la carte dining (they also have one prix fixe option), and is slightly more affordable, i.e. $30 to $50 per person instead of $80.
For starters I couldn't resist the pizzetta with pancetta, arugula and artichoke. Nom.
My companions enjoyed the "Russian salad" of beets, potatoes, peas, chervil and an egg:
And oven-baked white beans with an egg and kale and fresh turmeric and ginger pickle. Oh my gosh. So good.
As it turned out, all three of us wanted the pasta, which our server was most enthusiastic about: Spaghetti alla Pallina with cauliflower, pine nuts, currants, saffron and toasted breadcrumbs.
Super tasty! I will have to try to re-create that at home, along with the white bean dish. The menu was "inspired by Niloufer Ichaporia King," so I may be able to find some clues in her cookbook, My Bombay Kitchen.

When our entrees arrived, we had to ask for the check (and skip dessert) because we were running out of time (there were kids to be picked up at school). Our server brought it with apologies and a plate of cookies and figs. She noted that some of the bill had been comped because the pasta took so long to come out. Oh? I guess it had, but we were enjoying the leisurely pace. We appreciated the gesture just the same. And the cookies.


  1. aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
    my FAVORITE PLACE to eat when i lived there!! augh. thank you so much for posting your meal. i miss that place and your post just filled my mind with wonderful memories, thank you!! :) let us know if you are successful at re-creating the noodle dish (or a good alternative) bc that looked DIVINE! :)

  2. Poor you winter in Northern Cali this year was miserable, lots or rain, cold, mold, flood, gloom and so on. Spring has finally arrived though the last 4 days have been glorious. Thank god!
    At least you were able to enjoy Alice Waters the landmark restaurant. They serve great food there. The bean dish look amazing. Cheers!