A friend needed some good cheer and good food on Monday. Chez Panisse (downstairs) was all booked up, so we headed over to Lalime's, where I'd never been. What a treat! Lovely, happy food--the sort of food that tastes like the best kind of home food. Perky Forni-brown baby lettuces--not the usual half-wilted sour-bitter greens mix, but perfect little mixed baby lettuces. In fact, they looked just like the mixed lettuces from Renee's Garden seeds that I grew all last winter--which were, according to the package, chosen by the Forni-Brown folks! Anyway, tart vinaigrette, a nice slab of humbolt fog goat cheese and a few (not enough) slices of plum. also plump, succulent sauteed shrimp with a little puddle of Pernod-garlic-lemon sauce (so good we sopped up every drop) and a mince of yellow and red tomatoes. Our entrees were both good, if opposite. On the light side, a square of mako shark, quite white and tender, with a saute of sweet peppers and a few leaves of arugula. A sweet onion marmelade on top didn't go with the fish...but it was great with the massive yet juicy smoked pork chop, grilled to a golden crispness around the edges, topped with sweet corn off the cob and grilled green chiles. A handful of slim green beans and wax beans on the side, some rather underseasoned but ballast-worthy pinto beans underneath. Heavenly southern food with fresh California ingredients. Dessert was a light, mild almond cake (billed as cherry upside-down cake, but too light on the cherries) with a splendid hazelnut gelato. Three courses for each of us, $73 total.
Lalime's, 1329 Gilman St, Albany