June 19, 2012

Anniversary at Chez Panisse

29 seems like a big number, yet the time we have been together doesn't seem that long! I know in this day and age 29 is a pretty darn good accomplishment, which seems sad to me, because while of course there are tough times, I can't imagine not forging on ahead with the promise you made on your wedding day. We are complex, I know, so for some I suppose a lot of issues factor in why a marriage doesn't work. I'm lucky I suppose, that I knew from a young age what I wanted, and now we get to have so much time together, something that a lot of people don't have.
We always try and celebrate our birthdays and anniversary on the actual day. It has always bothered me not to do this, so we make a huge effort to mark the event on the persons true birth date etc. Last night we went to Chez Panisse for dinner. Monday nights at Chez Panisse, they have a much more simple menu. The plus side of this, is that the price is lower than lets say a Friday or Saturday menu. Last night was a special event at the restaurant, that lucky for us, fell on our anniversary date. They were having a special meal inspired by the Davis farmers market.
A cookbook has been written using this market as inspiration, and the authors were there. We were hopping that Alice Waters was there too, as she helped with the book, but she was not. I did meet her once at a book signing at my local Williams Sonoma. Anyway....I thumbed through the book, and decided not to purchase it, although it was nicely done.
David did the wine pairing with dinner, and above is the Chardonnay for the first course. They do such an amazing job at wine paring. I could go on and on about how the flavors end up being pure magic when you sip the wine along with the food.
The starter was: Beet, cucumber, and avocado salad with sun gold tomatoes and basil. The dressing on it was so perfect and well balanced with the veggies.
Main course: Cassoulet aux feves. Fresh fava and cannellini bean cassoulet with garlic sausage, duck legs, and pork belly. I can't even describe how wonderful the beans were!! The flavors were perfection! Duck was not overly salty, like it can be sometimes in a cassoulet dish.
The wine for this was their special Zinfandel. Very lovely with the dish!
I always get their tisane.
Dessert: Old fashioned meringue with boysenberry sherbet and summer berries.
Last but not least, they always add a little something when you get the bill. Candied lemon peel with chocolate covered almonds.

Very nice way to celebrate, with a favorite dish of mine!
Hope you enjoyed the food tour.

On Wednesday, we will be going to celebrate David's birthday and yet another great Bay Area restaurant that has been around for as long as Chez Panisse, but we have never been. I'm excited to try it, and of course I'll share photos also.


  1. You've certainly whetted my desire for another visit to Chez Panisse! Lovely meal.


  2. What a great way to celebrate!
    Again--happy anniversary.


  3. It is ridiculously hot outside and the project I am working on needs to dry so I am taking a break while I thaw out some shrimp for lunch that we will be having with cannellini beans ... lo and behold, I take a quick moment to catch up on your blog and there, right before my very eyes, is your most heavenly anniversary meal. I don't think that anything I can now make for lunch will compare with what my taste buds are after - Chez Pannise!!! What I would give to have that now. It is only noon, but I am in the mood for wine pairing type of stuff. I can promise you that in my po dunk town I am not going to find it. Oh how happy I am for you, but I am feeling like I have been totally dunked in green envy ooze.