Last night I had dinner at Chez Panisse, a restaurant consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. Located in Berkeley California, Chez Panisse opened in 1971, and since then has garnered a reputation for using the highest quality ingredients available.
The first course was the best salad I have ever eaten. It was baked andante dairy goat cheese with garden lettuces. This was served with wonderful bread and sparkling water– in a carafe!
For the main course, I wanted to try something I’ve never had before. I consulted with the waiter and ended up getting this: buttermilk-fried rabbit with sweet corn, zucchini, and chile oil. It tasted like every flavor I’ve ever enjoyed in my entire life decided to throw a party in my mouth. It was absolutely delicious, and I was happy to have tried something totally new. With my meal, I had a glass of 2010 Montlouis, La Negrette, Le Rocher Des Violettes, France. (My waiter brought me a couple of wines he thought would go well with the rabbit, and this was my pick. But free samples!)
In case you were wondering, rabbit is pretty good. It does taste a bit like chicken. And now I have something in common with Katniss Everdeen! (I just read The Hunger Games trilogy.)
For dessert, I got the bittersweet chocolate pavé with caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce. While it was very, very good, pavé is pretty much fancy talk for brownie. I should have gone with something more exciting, like the “golden sweet apricot galette” or “boysenberry sherbert with wood leaf farm peaches.” Alas, there’s always next time.
The picture above to the right is another shot of the rabbit, but you can see a little bit of Chez Panisse!
All in all, this was an excellent meal, definitely one of the best I’ve ever had. Oh, and did I mention that Alice Waters, the legendary founder and owner of CP gave me a special number to call to get a table even though the restaurant is booked for months? That’s a story for another time. 🙂