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More on Cafe Lucy, Napa

Melanie Wong | Mar 29, 200107:47 PM

Ann Leneave said: "We had the shrimp cakes for appetizers. Very tasty and really great with the Stony Hill Chardonnay. Lucy's dishes that are breaded and fried are amazingly light, crispy, and totally devoid of discernible fat. She must use high quality oil and keep it the perfect temp.
The same thing was true about my entre of fried sole. It was incredible, a generous portion of little fillets, piled high like she does on a light mesclun base (or at least I think that is right). It's been a few days and my memory is not that great in my advanced age) I think it had lemon and capers, too. Anyway it was a treat I'd like to repeat. My husband had the salmon, which was prepared a little differently than last time, minus the mustard crust, but equally delicious. He loves the way she cooks salmon, leaving the center slightly translucent, just the way we like it, without our having to say a word. We had a pear and dried cranberry crisp with vanilla ice cream. She must make the ice cream and it is DELICIOUS! She seems to be getting pretty busy and that's well deserved. I've got to get down there soon for the caramelized onion tart. I'm having sympoms of withdrawal. Also, she is making a few changes on the menu and has someone growing fresh garden stuff for her. Yum! and healthy too. "

Thanks for posting, Ann. Sorry for the long repeat, but this posting should be in a separate thread and not hidden in a conversation about Vietnamese food in Berkeley.

I''ve had two dinners at Cafe Lucy in the last month with groups of friends in the restaurant/wine trade, and they marvel at how cozy the room is and the price-quality ratio of the food and wine list.

Portions are huge, and we didn't need to order an app and entree for everyone to be stuffed. The onion/Stilton tart continues to be my favorite thing on the menu. Followed pretty closely by the roasted calamari caesar salad, but this one is a notch down because the timing was off the time Lucy was not in the kitchen. The spinach frittata is competent but doesn't stand out in the same way. The roasted prosciutto, potato and spinach salad sounded better than it came out. Just didn't have the same sense of finely tuned harmony as Lucy's dishes usually do, and the thick slice of prosciutto needed too much knife work to attack.

I'm with you on the sole. Not my idea to order it, the delicacy of the piled-high preparation and the perfect counterpoint of capers and lemon was just stunning. The steak is great - very good quality meat, approapriately blood-rare, and the green condiment (cilantro? garlic? citrus?) is simple yet exciting. The roast lamb with smashed root veggies is terrifc too.

Can't wait to try the spring menu.

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