it finally happened!
(refer to my post 'to the fellow who brought the wine' a month ago on 'not about food')
i brought a '95 bordeaux to share with a group of friends and acquaintances. it was lovely, and showed it's pedigree against the surprisingly pleasurable but more rustic pugliese red that i picked off the wine list.
at the end of the meal, my friend's friend actually said 'what can we give you for the wine?' i have occasionally been thanked for bringing a bottle, but this is the first time anyone has actually made this complementary gesture. i was actually kind of stunned, but i retained enough composure to kindly refuse. i was just happy that the wine had shown so well and had been enjoyed.
this particularly thoughtful gentleman had lived in france. perhaps this custom is more prevalent there. regardless, i raise my glass to him.
so, the dinner.
atmosphere - it is hard to tell if the quilts hanging on the walls really absorb much sound. a nice gesture anyhow, but it's still loud in there.
service - my friend managed to get reservations for 8pm, and the table was set and we were seated shortly after our arrival. dishes came out promptly, and the table logistics were handled well, considering our 'family style' format.
food - my companions did not generally seem that impressed, but i don't think they knew about the kitchen's philosophy. there has been some more recent discussion about 'getting' cal-inspired cuisine, and it occurs to me that if you don't know you are going to one of the temples, you might not pay enough attention to hear the subtler music. particularly if the crowd is what it is at delfina, and the presentations are simple and the portions small.
so the papparadelle in pork sugo, gnocchi with mushrooms, and special fava bean/house smoked bacon pasta went by quickly without much appreciation. this was unfortunate, as i found each to be well executed and satisfying.
the shaved artichoke salad with prosciutto was interesting, but the combination did not transcend the elements for me.
the piece of the steelhead trout entree that i got seemed underdone. i didn't get another taste, and i'm afraid i just didn't get to appreciate the dish.
my first piece of tripe had an aroma reminiscent of more downstream regions of the digestive tract. seriously. subsequent bites were better, but the texture was not as lovely as A16's. i found myself actually wishing i were at A16.
i would've added the chicken or steak entrees, but the group decided to dash off to ti couz for dessert.