Called yesterday at the spur of the moment to see if there was a table for four. Yes, at 5:30.
As always, warmly welcomed on arrival, promptly seated, delicious acme bread and butter and ice water on sitting.
Chopped salad of gem lettuces, curly endive, anchovy cucumber and radish. Ceaseresque, creamy dressing, cool absolutely crisp and delicious.
Garden lettuce salad tender mixed greens under dressed, not enough vinegar or salt, great quality greens
Figs with house cured prosciutto and almonds. House cured was too heavy on the salt, figs and almonds were delicious. Not as good as the prosciutto next door at Cesar
Georgia white shrimp and atlantic cod stew with rouille baked in a red dish, very tasty included clams, fennel, delicious and comforting
Pizzetta with tomatoes mozzarella and marjoram. Typical excellent chez panisse pizza, I had the last slice at work today and it still tastes good in my mouth. Like the person who greeted us, the guy making the pizza has been there 10-20 years and is obviously a master.
Sheeps milk ricotta raviouli with tomato confit and basil...Pasta heaven perfectly cooked home made pillows of ricotta goodness, not over stuffed as good as anything in Italy or anywhere on earth...
Pan fired alaskan halibut with frisee and green bean salad...fish had been dredged in bread crumbs, piping hot, served with an herb mayonnaise, really good
Chicken al mattone with peperonata (roasted peppers) a nice boned chicken thigh pounded and grilled nicely salted and really tasty, peppers roasted included some spice.
Finished with strawberry sorbet..tasty strawberry flavor light and delicious
and so so peach tart.
Tisane of fresh mint leaves very soothing.
Drank a good chino rose, navarro riesling and a broadley pinot noir. The pinot was really exceptional, heavy and intense unlike any I have ever tasted. I was surprised to find that they were selling it for 42 a bottle, shich is what it costs retail if you can find it...WS rated it a 78, which goes to show that you cant't always trust their opinions. I thought it was one of the best most remarkable wines I have ever tasted.
All in all a great meal. The service is so good, the space so nice, I always enjoy myself. Weaknesses included ho hum desserts and lack of any meat in the entree section other than chicken and fish. This is a recurring theme at chez panisse, does not bother me as I love chicken and fish, but if you are a die hard carnivore, you takes your chances.