Who wants to go ALL THE WAY to Lafayette to eat? You do! It's freeway all the way, meaning 1/2 hour from SF. Once you get there (it's minutes from the exit) you can PARK NEXT TO THE RESTAURANT FOR FREE. This has not happened in SF since the Earthquake/Fire of '06.
I have met only a few of you briefly, so you may not put much stock in my palate's calls at the plate. However, those of you who know my wife will be reassured when I tell you that she had a wonderful evening and, after having me around for two decades, it had to be the food.
Postino is located in a former post office in Lafayette. One look at the new post office and you'll see that the USPS got the short end of the stick. It's a lovely 1930's brick bldg. covered with vines. Although it has a large (180) seating capacity, the interior has been subdivided in such a way as to make it intimate. It's cozy during winter with 2 working fireplaces and just as lovely in spring/summer with outdoor seating under vine covered pergolas. Service is first rate--friendly, prompt, informative, attentive but not overly so.
We had an appetizer of polenta arrosto with crimini mushrooms and balsamic melassa. The polenta actually tasted like fresh corn as opposed to the neutral flavor absorber so often found elsewhere.
I had the butternut squash soup with creme fraiche. It was served piping hot and was superb.
Jennifer's main course was Stufato di Pesce: seafood stew in tomato broth. It was rich and tasty--full of clams and mussels and shrimp and halibut topped with garlic toast.
My main course was Pappardelle: homemade pasta with wild boar bolognese. It was rich but not gamey. The extra wide pasta noodles were perfect.
For dessert we had cannoli filled with pistachio cream and bombolini: pastry filled with pears, pureed apples and homemade spice ice cream. If you think that sounds good, it tasted even better.
There were many other things on the menu such as Pasta Stuffed With Braised Oxtail and Lombardy Style Duck with Blood Orange that sounded intriguing. This restaurant deserves several visits.
The chef is Cat Cora--she trained at the CIA and worked @ Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa. Cat's focus is high quality ingredients prepared simply. Postino's original chef was from Tra Vigne.
3565 Mt. Diablo, Lafayette; 925-299-8700.
Dinner daily; lunch: Friday.