I would like to mention some noteworthy dinners we have enjoyed lately and, in addition, say thanks to Chowhound for being a great resource.
I know I've mentioned Vegi Foods, on Vine in Berkeley, but dinner there recently moves me to reiterate. This has to be the freshest, most delicious, purely pristine Chinese vegetarian food I have ever experienced. One of the dishes we ordered this time was a stir fried asparagus dish with black bean sauce that should have been photographed for the cover of a food magazine. They serve brown rice instead of white, unless you request white, and it is a chewy and substancial accompaniment to the light dishes, all of which are very good.
A recent stay in Squaw Valley turned up some surprisingly good food. We enjoyed a great dinner at the restaurant at the Plump Jack Inn. The appetizer of scallops was perfectly executed. The scallops must have been "dry" for they were crisp on the exterior and moist inside with a delicate floral flavor that can't be achieved with scallops that have absorbed liquid. They were served on a bed of creamy, smooth, well seasoned mashed potatoes. The salad was perfectly dressed with a delicate olive oil and mellow vinegar to allow focus on the tiny greens. The roast pork loin was very nice, as was the roast chicken.
We had carried in a bottle of '90 Spotteswoode Cabernet so we declined to order either the salmon or halibut entrees, but after tasting the scallops we would have considered fish for the entree too. We ordered a bottle of Billecart-Salmon to start, sooooo good and it was very fairly priced on the wine list. There were only three of us polishing off these wines, so we shared them with the waitress and the wine steward, who in return didn't charge a corkage fee. I can't remember the intricacies of the preparations of the dishes, but we were impressed with the flavors. I do remember the "tabacco" onions on the pork and the wonderful potato "risotto" under my chicken. We will definitely go back next time we are at Tahoe.
Fine's post about Le Bistro in Incline popped into my mind when we sat down there for dinner the next night. Our son had led us there, but if I could have remembered the name, I would have suggested it myself. It truly was delicious and very classic French bistro food. We ordered a '98 Reverdy Sancerre to go with the first courses of artichoke stuffed with langostine, tuna in gelee, and escargot. It was a terrific bottle, even if more fruity than usual. We all ordered the duck magret to match our Burgundy and it was perfect.
On our way home we continued the marathon by stopping by Corti Bros. in Sacremento for some '97 Chianti for our "cellar", and then Cafe Lucy in Napa for another of her amazing dinners. This place is settling into our "favorite" catagory for fabulous food in a warm and friendly atmosphere with good service. And, to think, we discovered it through Melanie's post on this board. We are getting to know Lucy, too, another nice thing that has happened because of Chowhound. It's hard to remember how we ever bumbled through without it.
Best of all links posted as far as I am concerned was the one by Melanie for E. Dehillerin.com. (It might have been on the general board.) My order for copper arrived the other day and I am now the proud owner of two beautiful HEAVY pots to add to my favorite cooking utensils.