Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dinner @ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA - #2

After a successful trip to Chez Panisse last year we went up for another trip because a couple of friends had missed the prior trip.  Please look at the prior review for details and subtleties of the restaurant as I'll avoid writing about them in this one.

Just like last time, the restaurant has a price fixe four course meal, with an amuse bouche and mignardise at the end.  The only interesting thing to note was there wasn't a cheese course available for a supplement this time around.  We didn't ask why, but we assume it's simply based on what's available at that point in time.   Or perhaps its because we had a reservation at the very first seating time and the cheese course is only for later reservations when customers can linger.

1) amuse-bouche olives

Not a big fan of olives, but tried one.  Hard to judge b/c I'm not a big fan :-)

2) Yellowtail jack crudo with rhubarb and mint salsa, shaved fennel, and wild rocket

This dish was really good as the (what I assume to be) mint salsa was really good.

3) Fava bean agnolotti in squab brodo with asparagus (morel mushrooms removed)

Since I hate mushrooms, I asked for the morel mushrooms to be left out of this dish.  Good, but a bit of a disappointment after the crazy delicious "borage agnelotti" the last time I went to Chez Panisse.  However, I think the fava bean based pasta was better than the borage based pasta.

4) Becker Lane Farm pork loin grilled with mustard and thyme; with little turnips, snap peas, and fried farro

The turnips and snap peas were really good.  I assume they were picked just that morning or atleast very recently.  The pork loin was delicious too.

5) Chocolate sherbet and hazelnut ice cream meringata

I really good dessert, although these particular flavors aren't my favorite.  The berry based sherbet and sorbet from last time was about the greatest dessert I think I ever had.  I didn't get to ask what the citrus-like sauce was around the ice cream, as that was delicious.

6) mignardise - coconut macarons and chocolate

Overall, another great trip to Chez Panisse.

I was debating a bit on whether I liked the food in this trip better than the prior one.  I think the yellowtail was > salmon this time.  The second course soup was better the prior time, even though the pasta in the soup was better this time.  The squab and pork loin were about a draw, although the peas may have made the main course win out a bit more this time.  The crazy delicious dessert last time probably breaks the tie and makes it a win for the prior meal at Chez Panisse.

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