Friday, May 25, 2012

And summer begins... 5/19/2012

We landed in San Francisco late on the night of the 18th, and as the clock struck midnight, we celebrated the beginning of Andrew's birthday with some late night Thai food. The curries and noodles arrived quickly, piping hot and deeply satisfying, yet the real feast began a mere 10 hours later with breakfast. 
Some might call fruit salad "common," but its simple sweet flavor and unabashed beauty are a feast for the taste buds and the eyes. A mix of cubed cantaloupe, fresh strawberries, and valencia oranges, garnished with blueberries and chilled for a couple of minutes before serving. We've found that mixing the fruit together makes everything mushy, and serving through the vibrant layers ensures that the lucky diner still obtains every fruit variant. 
A farm egg scramble for the main course - fluffy eggs mixed with smoked salmon, sliced asparagus sauteed with onions, and rich cheese. The whole thing topped with pieces of a perfectly ripened avocado, and a creamy dressing that we can't get enough of - its preparation couldn't be easier. A couple of dollops of honey Greek yogurt (too sweet on its own!), meyer lemon juice, and a little bit of zest for further infusion of flavor.
A drive along the scenic coast and a walk along a beautiful deserted beach later, we're back at it again. Cocktail hour. A white wine, and a simple spread of cheeses - the caramelized goat variant from Norway (it has had a previous appearance), classic cambozola, and a "balsamic" cow's milk, rich and nutty.  
A marinated "London broil," fragrant from sitting in its juices and spices overnight, grilled on the patio. Zucchini and pepper, also grilled - to me, the ideal vegetables for this cooking medium (Asian pears, peaches, and onion halves being my other favorites). Cous cous with meyer lemon bits, pine nuts, parsley, perfect for sopping up the meat juices and providing a subtly flavorful yet unassuming side dish. Of course, a big salad, with fresh arugula, pickled red onion, and grated parmesan - every ingredient exceedingly complementary to the juicy meat slices. 

The outdoor eating experience...

...and my own individual spread. 
 Lucky birthday boy! A double layer German chocolate cake, the moist wheels separated by a thin layer of whipped cream and sliced strawberries. The top blanketed by further whipped cream and strawberries, and swirls of homemade chocolate sauce. Truly irresistible - after seconds, lots of "evening out" occurred until only about half of the gargantuan cake remained. I hadn't been that full in awhile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Springtime at Mezze - 4/7/2012

I erroneously believed that this post made its initial appearance when I wrote it, but apparently not...An entry in the present will make things out of order, but this meal deserves recognition.

Last Saturday evening, Andrew and I experienced Mezze as we never had before. Too late to secure a reservation but craving the tantalizingly fresh flavors of our favorite Williamstown bistro, we arrived with fingers crossed, hoping for a seat at the bar. A fortunate stroke of serendipity - we cozied into the corner of the long wood counter, and signature cocktails appeared before us, to "whet" our appetites...
A personal taste
Of artisanal Vermont's
Renowned cheese culture

Staff menu gives us
Sampling of pork pot stickers
Lucky kitchen staff

Life changing sardines
Julienned daikon, spring flavor,
Color, fresh parsley

Succulent spring duck
Sweet, delicate apricots
Bursting radishes

Exotic side dish
Of tender bean variants
Lemon zest, infused

Staff's rich carrot cake
Decadent cream cheese frosting
Two forks fight for bites

"Last Chance" Log Lunch - 5/4/2012

It has been embarrassingly long since I updated, and I am eagerly beginning my summer entries. My few days at home have already yielded plentiful documentation of Sonoma County's bounty, yet it slipped my mind that the last Log Lunch never got proper credit. I hope this cursory encapsulation embodies the grand finale of one of my favorite weekly events. I anticipate next year's grandeur already...
Asparagus, main
Soup with spinach, roasted spears
Pecan "sweet bread" dough

The crunch of fresh greens
Avocado, strawberries
An exquisite cake