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Restaurants & Bars 4

Food weekend-Chez Panisse Cafe,Farmers mkt, Phoenix

sensi63 | Feb 5, 2006 09:34 PM

Had a wonderful weekend including lots of delicious food. Went to the Cafe at Chez Panisse on Friday. The food was outstanding. The service was excellent. I need to comment on the excellence of the chicken. When I ordered the chicken my companions were less than impressed, after all, who goes out and orders chicken?
If you don't order the chicken at Chez Panisse you are making a huge mistake. It has never disappointed me, and in fact is the best chicken I have ever had. A boneless breast and thigh breaded in pain de mie crumbs and fried in a butter olive oil mix, perfectly moist hot, and delicious. I have never had a better chicken dish, or any other meat fish or fowl for that matter. Sublime. My companions had pork ribs, quail and seafood stew. They were all good (pork and seafood) to great (quail) but nothing compared to the chicken (sublime.) The sorbet for dessert was excellent, tasted like a tangerine push pop but pure and delicious and icy. The Chez Panisse Zinfandel from Red and Green is a great deal at 26 bucks, and they charged only one bottle corkage even though we brought a magnum of champagne to start. It remains my favorite spot for a special night.
Hit the farmers mkt saturday. I buy from many people, but the freshness of the produce is really great. The salad mix from the place that sells salad with little flowers in it is beyond fresh. It lasts a long time. Sunday night, it is still far better and fresher than the lettuce mixes I usually buy at Monterrey Mkt, Berkeley Natural or Berkeley Bowl.
The one let down this weekend was the ravioli I bought from Phoenix. I like their politics, I like the vibe in the store, I like their chocolate cookies, the quality of their pasta is good. The ravioli were disgusting. Filled with gloppy cheese and spinach in one case, (too heavy on the nutmeg, and cheesy like something that you would get at Macaroni Grill) and to cheesy in the case of the wild mushrooms ravioli. Ravioli are supposed to be filled with light ricotta type cheese, not heavy gloppy rubbery mozzerella type cheese. This was disgusting to the point that my wife and kids ate only the pasta and threw the rest away. And expensive to boot. I think I spent 35 dollars for two pounds of ravioli! I ended up throwing 2/3 of it away it was so nasty. The ravioli at the Pasta Shop are much better. I don't know if they are locally made however.
Oh well, you can please some of the people some of the time...
But that chicken, oh the chicken, the chicken...

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