So we got another free meal last night, at Sea Salt on San Pablo at Dwight in Berkeley.
We all know how hot it was yesterday, even in the normally cooler sections of Berkeley and Northish Oakland. It was probably about 80 degrees when we lined up outside around 7:15. They only take res. for parties of 6+. We spent the wait leaning against the bar and sharing either a glass of prosecco (sis and myself) or a fancy beer (hub and friend) and were seated in about 10 minutes. At first it seemed too warm in the room, but in a moment either they turned on the air-conditioning or it got cooler. In any case, heat was not a problem for the rest of the evening.
We ate REAL GOOD, as follows:
Monkfish Liver Torchon (sans torchon cause they cut it up for 4-way sharing) containg said liver, uni (I think that's what it was), tiny caviar. This was really good but I should have eaten it first since it was more delicate.
Fried anchovies - I could eat these little fellows for a week. Crispy, delicious and served with a slightly hot sauce (containing some harissa)with lemon to squeeze over.
Cucumber Salad: Amazing. This salad had the wonderful texture of my mother's marinated cukes with onions. It managed to be fresh-tasting, tangy, oniony, and cheesey all at the same time. Had some goat cheese (or feta? Not sure) crumbled in. We devoured it.
Mussels: Again, delicious. Cooked with bell peppers, oregan and lemon. Served with toasted bread for dipping.
Non-shared items (only tastes allowed here)
BLT: My husband had been muttering this to himself ever since he heard they served it. He loved it. I had a taste and it was great.
Grilled Big Eye Tuna with mashed sweet potatoes, bok choy and green curry. This was my main dish and it was perfect. The tuna was rare and the whole combo of sauce, crunchy bok choy and smooth mashed sweet potatoes was wonderful.
Sister had salmon - didn't taste it but she loved it.
Friend had Sturgeon wrapped in bacon, I think. We were the beneficiaries of the mushrooms in this dish since friend doesn't like them (??!!??). They were shiitakis sauteed with onions and they were fabulous.
With this we had a bottle of Gruner Veltliner - one of those large bottles. It was good but not as tasty as the glass of GV I had at Luka's last week.
Sister had cheese with some stewed cherries (not too sweet) and nuts. It was really good. The cheese was Manchego-esque but a bit more tangy. Don't remember the name and I didn't see it on their online menu.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with marinated stone fruit. Magnif.
Friend had tart (frangipane) of plums? Can't remember, but I had a taste and it was great...crust was buttery and crispy. It came with a sorbet I can't recall.
Husband was stalwart non-participant in dessert. He had a bite of mine and my sister's, but contented himself with coffee.
The service was pro and yet relaxed. We didn't have to wait for anything and the whole dinner just flowed.
We were all very impressed. One of our new faves.
We agreed last night that we could get used to this free dinner deal. Unfortunately, there are no more prospects on the horizon.
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