Gourmet Ghetto, Berkeley

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709

Menu cover

Today's menu

Chez Panisse filters their own sparkling water.

Apéritifs: Kir Royale on the left, Lillet Blonde on the right.

The halibut dish was paired with: 2007, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Thomas Labeaille.

Paillarde de flétan: Steamed northern halibut with lemon and olive salsa.

Encornets aus poireaux: Monterey Bay squid ragout with leeks and red wine.

Pairing for the squid dish: Pinot noir rosé, Robert Sinskey, Carneros.

Pairing for the lamb dish: 2007, Côtes du Rhône, Cairanne, Domaine Richard.

Gigot d'agneau grille, sauce béarnaise: Grilled rack, loin, and leg of Cattail Creek Ranch lamb with Béarnaise sauce, roasted potatoes, and artichokes.

Dessert pairings: 2007 Beerenauslese Cuveé, Kracherer, Austria on the left; 2001, Vin Santo, Colline Lucchesi, Fattoria di Fubbiano, Italy on the right

Feuilleté aux agrumes: puff pastry tartlet with citrus and cream.

Cappuccino and some pistacchio and chocolate mignardises.


Ici Ice Cream

Elmwood, Berkeley

Ici Ice Cream
2948 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

On the left: yogurt sherbet on the top and cardamom-rose ice cream on the bottom with homemade cone; on the right: lemon-vanilla ginger snap ice cream sandwich.

Cheese Board Pizza

Gourmet Ghetto, Berkeley

Cheese Board Pizza
1512 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709

The Cheese Board produces some of the best pizza in the history of the world!


A few seconds before I devour

Using their cookbook, I decided to make my favorite Cheese Board pizza: Corn Zucchini Pizza with Lime and Cilantro!


Top Dog

Southside, Berkeley

Top Dog
2534 Durant Ave
Berkeley, CA, 94704

My favorite hot dog joint in the country. A plethora of choices: bratwurst, bockwurst, kielbasa, calabrese, linguiça, chicken apple, lemon chicken, louisiana hot link, … need I say more? How about choice of Russian mustard? And toasted buns from a local bakery? I challenge you to find a better place!

Linguiça on the left, bockwurst on the right.

Napa Valley

The French Laundry
6640 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599

Street view

The blue door

I fasted before this meal: 10+ courses from 6pm – past 11pm. Not a good idea since I was so hungry I was gobbling everything up like a madman instead of savoring every bite. This is not even food in the ordinary sense anymore; this is food as a performance art where the applause goes out to Thomas Keller’s staff: Bravo!!! … BURP! And yes, even the burps tasted especially good.

Amuse-bouche: 'Cornets' of salmon tartare, crème fraîche and sesame tuile

'Oysters and Pearls': 'Sabayon' of pearl tapioca with Beau Soleil oysters and Russian Sevruga caviar

Truffled-egg custard with chive chip

Salad of Hawaiian hearts of peach palm, marinated sweet peppers, red radish, candied macadamia nuts, and Haas avocado 'coulis'

Sauteéd 'fillet' of South Florida cobia, 'cassoulet' of summer pole beans, oven roasted Roma tomatoes, and mustard seed emulsion

Pan roasted Negro Bay scallop, Silver Queen corn pudding, 'salade de truffe d'été de purée de truffe noire'

'Rillette' of Devil's Gulch Ranch rabbit, melted Belgian endive, poached Bing cherries, and 'sauce aux cerises'

Herb roasted saddle of Elysian Fields Farm lamb, 'confit d'aubergine, panisse et sauce aux citron conservé et olives'

'Chaource', roasted heirloom beets, picked crab apples, beet 'vinaigrette', and 'frisée' lettuce

Hayden mango sorbet, 'Yuzu scented génoise', Goma 'nougatine', and black sesame 'coulis'

'Tentation au chocolat noisette et lait': Milk chocolate 'crémeaux', hazelnut 'streusel' with Madagascar vanilla ice cream, and sweetened salty hazelnuts

An extra course of yogurt and crème brûlée

'Mignardises': Tiny bite-sized cookies and sweets!

Homemade chocolates!