Making the love-hate discussion more restaurant-specific and strictly local.
Consider Thursday night's menu downstairs at CP:
- Tomales Bay oyster ragoût with leeks and lemon sauce
- Winter vegetable feuilleté with wild mushrooms
- Spit-roasted Hoffman Farm chicken with black truffles, fried potatoes, and mâche salad
- Warm buckwheat crêpes with candied tangerine ice cream and blood oranges
I could make all those things at home, if I started a couple of days ahead. But I'd be spending the evening in the kitchen rather than at the table with my friends. And I probably can't get mushrooms or truffles as good as they can. And I don't own a wood-burning oven with a rotisserie. And I'd have to clean up afterwards.
Or this selection from Oliveto's upstairs menu last night:
- Knoll Farm Cardoon and Potato Soup
- Charcoal-Grilled Sierra Mackerel with Jerusalem Artichoke Purée
- Potato gnocchi with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Fava Beans
- Raviolini of Willis Farm porchetta
- Trompetti with Calabrese Sausage ragù
- Spezzatino of Sonoma Lamb with polenta
- Spiced Persimmon Ice Cream
- Warm Fig and Frangipane Crostata with Anise Ice Cream
That's some very challenging shopping, plus some advanced and labor-intensive cooking.