Monday, December 7, 2009

Lunch at Chez Panisse, Berkeley, California

the Chez Panisse kitchen

How often do you get a chance to dine at a legendary restaurant.. at a restaurant that changed the way we eat? On Friday we were fortunate enough to eat at Chez Panisse, the restaurant Alice Waters turned into a food Mecca for organic, biodynamic dining in 1971. It did not disappoint. Set in the hippie, laid-back autumnal San Franciscan suburb of Berkeley, Chez Panisse delivers dishes packed with heavenly produce and mature restraint from its chefs. The ingredients are definitely the stars. I wish you could have all been there with me!

organic lamb racks trimmed and ready to go into the oven

the meal begins with a selection of house-marinated olives

Chez Panisse filters and carbonates its own tap water

water bottles are etched with the Chez Panisse logo

First to the entrees or appetisers as they call them in the States.
Bellweather Farm ricotta with salsa rosa and greens toast with egg

Sonoma Farm chicories salad with creamy lemon dressing and Dungeness crab toast
smoked Liberty Farm duck breast, with peppercress, fennel and fig relish

The Cafe dining room was buzzing with businessmen, foodies, tourists and girls lunching
River steelhead fish with escarole, rosemary, Meyer lemon and breadcrumbs

Red Wolfe Ranch quail with polenta, peppers, shell beans and chanterelle mushrooms 

Bucatini alla palina with saffron, cauliflower, pine nuts, currants, marjoram and pecorino
a bowl of Lagier ranches new season almonds, Barhi dates and a Frog Hollow Farm Warren pear
Didn't think almonds could be this sweet and creamy

Sadly no room for dessert but we managed to squeeze in some pistachio-almond chocolates and Satsuma mandarin peel

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  1. I am swimming in a pool of envy!!!

    how was the winelist??
    drool droollllll!!!

  2. Yum- a delicious looking meal. Are they having trouble deciphering your Aussie accents over there? I've heard that can happen :)

  3. Delicious looking food, I would like to enjoy it with my latest wrist water bottle on wrist.

  4. I am looking through all of your USA posts for inspiration for our upcoming have eaten at some wonderful places!! :D