Chez Panisse

Last night me and Martha went to Chez Panisse for the Monday night dinner. The meal was very simple and totally delicious. The first course was squid stuffed with bread crumbs and raisins. It was topped with a lemon confit sauce and little bits of mint.

The main dish was pork shoulder and pork loin with a squash sformato and onion rings. The squash reminded me of my mothers spicy corn souffle. Dessert was blood oranges with bitter orange zest infused jelly. The food was very midwestern and cozy. Instead of being fancy or avant guard there was simply a sense of love and comfort. Simple preparations, sauces with primary flavors, and a use of tradition American cooking.

We drank a bottle of Echézeaux with dinner. It reminded me of Christom's wine. A lean body with dark fruit and lees flavors. Our waiter overheard me mentioning this to Martha and he brought out an almost empty bottle of 2008 Christom Mt. Jefferson that he said they had opened for a tasting. How amazing to taste the two side by side! The Mt. Jefferson gets less oak then the other wines at Cristom and is actually my favorite. They were very similar, although the Christom was just a little lighter.  By the end of the meal the Echézeaux was getting richer and spicier but the Cristom headed downhill pretty fast and eventually lost all flavor. I just find that fascinating. How can two wines taste so similar but evolve so differently?

After dinner we checked out the kitchen. It's very calm and super organized. That night they were only having to prepare three dishes! The squid was cooked in the oven for two minutes.