Lunch today was at La Finestra Ristorante in Lafayette. I've eaten here several times before and have always enjoyed my experience. Tucked away in a shingled office building, the restaurant isn't the easiest to find, but I think the effort is well worth it.
Finestra makes its foccacia in house so you have to wait a few minutes before the waiter arrives (after seating you and providing menus and water). Crispy on the outside and soft inside, this time the bread had pieces of olive clinging to them. Served with a garlic and parmesan olive oil, a meal could be made on this stuff alone.
My girlfriend and I shared our favorite appetizer: shrimp with raisens, pinenuts and tiny toasted bread squares. The brown sauce pooled around these ingredients is fabulous with garlic and red pepper flakes.
I usually order the mushroom soup for my entree. It's rich with a cream based broth, but being a bit hungrier, I ordered the Ensalata mista with chicken. The perfectly grilled chicken breast comes with slices of ripe mango, cranberries and a mixed salad. The dressing is creamy with lemon and almond flavors. I'm not sure about the almond. I think the chef used a paste and I don't think it was necessary. Otherwise the salad was great--the greens fresh, the chicken flavorful and the fruit a nice addition.
John Kaufman's review is linked below.
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