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KitchenWitch's picture

Okay, Bay Area folks -


I'm flying into San Jose on Tuesday Afternoon - Only day not open for me is Saturday nite.


Shall we pick a date/time/place to meet?


~RuthAnn
Always Smell It First.

~RuthAnn

Jangomango's picture

(post #56631, reply #1 of 99)

Yup.   I think you have my # but I'll email anyway.

MER02's picture

(post #56631, reply #2 of 99)

Chiming in here. Aussie has my number. Give me a call.


Edited 4/14/2002 11:00:13 PM ET by Mer

Jangomango's picture

(post #56631, reply #3 of 99)

Have a good flight, Ruth Ann.   If anyone wishes to join us for Witchfest email me at alceringa@aol.com.  

nutcakes's picture

(post #56631, reply #4 of 99)

Since I had to leave first, let me be the first to report that I just returned to work, ahem, after a 4 hour lunch with some of the Bay Area cooks and guest of honor the Kitchen Witch.  Well lunch was more like 2-1/2 hours, then shopping.


We were RuthAnn, Aussiechef, Mer1, Mangia, Marie-Louise, AP on KP and me.  Lunch was delishious. I split the salad with warm goat cheese round with Mangia, Yummy and there were 2 rounds so this worked out well.  Then halibut with asparagus and beurre blanc.  The fish was nice, but really the plate was swimming in butter sauce--too much, too rich!  Then we shared an intense blood orange sorbet with carmelized kumquats and gingersnaps.  Overall a lovely meal with much talking and laughter.


I'll let the others report, but I have to say that the prices are pretty steep.  At least for the entrees. 


We made plans to meet at the Montery market to check the produce.  But on the way AP and I passed the Cheese Board.  This is a legendary shop, an old Berkeley co-op not to be missed.  We lost sight of the others so ducked in.  AP recommended some fabulous fat fresh ricotta, so sweet, I bought a pound for about $4.50.  She bought an Italian cheese make with cow, goat and sheep milk, rich and creamy.  I also bought a herb crusted goat cheese that slices, I've never had anything like it.  It is rich not fluffy--I wish I had got the name.  Very expensive at 22 per lb, but I got a slice.  Also some nutty and creamy fontinella.  And a couple of seeded housemade baguettes, still warm.  I'm nibbling on one now.  Light crisp slightly chewy crust, so excellent.


I could not get over the good prices at the Montery market.  Massive globe artichokes for 1.15 each!  I never see prices like this.  They were the size of  large grapefruits.  Fat asparagus 1.19 per pound.  The grocer saw Becca looking at tiny mandarines and told us this was the last shipment of the season so taste!  The were so sweet and delicate, without those tough membranes, so we all dug in and filled bags with them.  It was $3 for about 30 of them.


OHHHNOOOOO, I just realized I left them in AP's car.  Damn.  I also left a gift that AP brought, some vinegar she made with the mother, so we can add wine and it will keep turning into vinegar.  How cool is that?  But how awful is that that I left it?


Thanks to everyone who arranged the get-together. I glad you were finally able to come M-L, it was really nice to meet you after all this time.  And everyone else too.


 


 


 

Marie0507's picture

(post #56631, reply #5 of 99)

Cinderella checking in here. While others went off to continue an enjoyable afternoon, this loyal employee went back to the office to work on a big report. (I'm still here.) I had Carrot Soup, a few pieces of an olive / leek /  Fontina pizza (what I couldn't give away at the table is sitting in my car), and a bite of everyone else's dessert. All great. I love this restaurant.


I had a great time and I hope we do it again soon. Everyone was more or less as expected yet very different. It's hard to describe.


PS I can't believe I forgot to tell you about the cheese board! That's where the world's best pizza comes from-you could have bought one for the ride back.

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #56631, reply #6 of 99)

Here's my report!


What a wonderful time we had! Mer and Aussie picked me up (after meeting Natalie and my MIL, who still finds it baffling that I took off with two strangers I'd never met before)


Much chatting and laughter and really crappy navigation by yours truly, who doesn't know the area at all, on the way to pick up Mangia! at work. On to Chez Panisse. What a beautiful restaurant - I love love love Craftsman style art & architecture and the restaurant was loaded with it, even down to the smallest detail in the powder rooms. ML, Nutcakes and AP on KP met us there - and we were seated and left to peruse the menu. I thought an appetizer + an entree + dessert was just too much, so I had the sublime mixed greens with warm goat cheese medallions as my entree, and split the Fanny Bay oyster appetizer with Mer as a starter. Had the Espresso Caramel Custard as dessert - also incredibly lovely. was hoping for a creme brulee, alas. Watching AP on KP order then discuss the wine with the server was fascinating for me, as I know zippo about wine, but the wine she chose really went well with the food I had, and I don't typically care for white wine, as a rule. There was lots and lots of laughter and chat about CooksTalk (read: gossip - but not vicious). then we took a picture with Aussie's camera under the Chez Panisse sign - hope it comes out. Off to the Monterey Market, with more creative navigation by moi - thank heavens for the friendly mailman who helped us out - of course, being accosted by four pretty women in a hot little red car, how could he refuse?!


The Market was awesome. I picked up some of the incredible pixie tangerines, as well as a couple bacon avocados, some super sweet currant tomatoes, a bottle of nifty lemon olive oil ($10 less than what I'd paid for the same oil elsewhere!) and I splurged on a $20 bottle of Balsamic. now I just need to figure out how to get this home.


For the trip back, I completely relinquished navigation to Aussie, who did great (except for that incident with the concrete gore point - quick thinking by Mer, chauffeur extraordinare, saved us from being the creamy filling in a crunchy red metal bon-bon.)


Mer and Aussie dropped me off at  Tao Tao in Sunnyvale where we were celebrating MIL's birthday with (groan) more food. I'm ever so glad I wore my fat pants today. so now I'm still stuffed with chinese chicken salad, won ton soup, almond pressed duck, honey prawns with candied walnuts, and I cannot remember what else.


good lord, I'm checking natalie with the bags - I'll need both seats on the plane for myself.


Major thank yous to Aussie and Mer for arranging all of this, and Mer for driving - not a task for the faint of heart.


Also to AP on KP for bring some of her red wine vinegar mother for us all!! What a treat. I cannot wait to come back for another so I can see some of all of these incredible ladies again.


ps - on the way to get Mangia! I shared a great gross out story that Billy emailed me about Horus's (my dog) trip to the vet today - I'll save that for another time. He came thru his surgery just fine, although rather annoyed. made quite an impression on the vet hospital, though.



~RuthAnn
Always Smell It First.


Edited 4/20/2002 2:53:39 AM ET by Kitchen Witch

~RuthAnn

Wolvie's picture

(post #56631, reply #7 of 99)

sounds like a great time was had by all! Can't wait for the pics and the story about Horus!

Woe to the cook whose sauce has no sting
- Chaucer

 

Jangomango's picture

(post #56631, reply #8 of 99)

Pics may be a while or never.   All need to approve them.


Believe me, you do NOT want to hear RuthAnn's dog story.  

Jean's picture

(post #56631, reply #9 of 99)

It can't be worse than the dogs in elk saga, or can it?

 


Am I ambivalent?  Well, yes and no.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Jangomango's picture

(post #56631, reply #12 of 99)

Missed that one - sounds like a good thing to miss!

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #56631, reply #11 of 99)

>>Believe me, you do NOT want to hear RuthAnn's dog story.  <<


Sure they do! It is rather gross, but that's life with Bull Terriers. I'll be sure to add a warning label, so the delicate or easily offended can avoid it. It prominently features a snotty vet tech who thought she knew our dog better than we did getting her come-uppance.


~RuthAnn
Always Smell It First.

~RuthAnn

Jangomango's picture

(post #56631, reply #13 of 99)

Just give them a warning to eat first, then read.

Jean's picture

(post #56631, reply #14 of 99)

I think it's impossible to gross out a nurse. We've seen it all.

 


Am I ambivalent?  Well, yes and no.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #56631, reply #15 of 99)

Is that a challenge? ;-)

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #56631, reply #10 of 99)

Thanks for the reports you guys. Sounds like a great time.

APonKP's picture

(post #56631, reply #16 of 99)

Nutcakes, I'm sorry about the tangerines!  (There will always be more vinegar.)   Since I'll have to eat these, I'll treat you to the fruit-of-the-moment next time we have an outing.  


 

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
APonKP's picture

(post #56631, reply #17 of 99)

If all CTers are as much fun as the ones I met yesterday, I must say,  don't miss any CT get togethers, or you'll be sorry!  What a great group of gorgeous women!  DH just had to say, "It sounds like they were a lot younger than you."  Well, what difference does age difference make when you all love food?!!


Alas, we did need several more hours to get around to even just some of the places that they should have seen.   Another Berkeley get together is a must, and I can think of many other perfect places nearby that should be on our list.  Definitely St. Helena, of course, Healdsburg, and Point Reyes Station to visit the Cowgirl  cheesemaking shop and have a picnic on the beach at McClure Beach, a gorgeous spot.  we've already talked about a short cooking class at the CIA at Greystone. 
Can we entice others to join us?


Our lunch at Chez Panisse was fun and good, but I'm afraid I am going to be a bit more critical with my review.  In my opinion, the food there has not been  quite as special recently as in the past and yet the prices are getting rather high, especially for lunch.  I couldn't help but compare my squid dish with one I had enjoyed at Bay Wolf a couple of months ago.   Both were appetizers of grilled (or brick oven roasted, in the case of CPs) but the BW one was much more delicious.  Whereas the CP one was merely roasted tiny squid (on the dry side) with some (bitter) lemon rind bits, the BW one was combined with little bunches of mache, slivers of sweet Meyer lemon, little chunks of perfectly toasted almonds, all lightly dressed with a lovely Meyer lemon and olive oil dressing.   I'll always love Chez Panisse, but I can't help but expect perfection.


I was also disappointed in the wine list, which was pretty pricey with limited selections.
I wanted everyone to try the Domaine Tempier Rose, but it was just too expensive on the list.  We had a Selene Sauvignon Blanc, which was ok, but in retrospect we probably should have had wines by the glass.  Am I being anal about all this?  Of course!  We are horribly spoiled in this area, but we pay for it with our real estate prices.  ;-)


It was so much fun meeting each of you, and I for one am looking forward to the next outing!


 


 


 

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
Glenys's picture

(post #56631, reply #18 of 99)

Domaine Tempier, you're my kind of girl. Their wines explain the synergy between Alice's vision and the history of the restaurant.

Too bad it was a little off beat but I know the group set the rhythm right.

APonKP's picture

(post #56631, reply #68 of 99)

Domaine Tempier


Isn't it wonderful?  Not long now until summer vegetables will be in for those dishes from the South of France to drink it with. 


Edited 4/24/2002 12:29:52 PM ET by AP on KP

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
Risottogirl's picture

(post #56631, reply #19 of 99)

Waaahhhh! I miss San Francisco!!!!!


I opened a bottle of DT rose this evening to console myself...



I was 32 when I started cooking, up until then I just ate.      --Julia Child


Edited 4/20/2002 9:57:29 PM ET by RISOTTOGIRL


Edited 4/20/2002 10:11:49 PM ET by RISOTTOGIRL

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Marie0507's picture

(post #56631, reply #20 of 99)

I agree, I also thought that the prices at CP seemed much more expensive than before. I haven't been there for lunch in years, but the lunch menu seemed more expensive than what I've come to expect for the dinner cafe menu. Bay Wolf is one of my favorites-I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there.

It was great to meet you too, AP, although we didn't get to talk as much as I'd like since we were at the other end of the table for most of the meal. So... you'll just have to make good on that invitation to invite us up to St. Helena.

You know, we could do a Point Reyes/Tomales circuit. We could slurp a bunch of oysters at Hog Island, eat our way through Point Reyes Station, hike for an hour or two, then work up an appetite so we can eat some more...

PS I dare say you and I are about the same age, although others at the table were younger, LOL.

nutcakes's picture

(post #56631, reply #30 of 99)

You know, we could do a Point Reyes/Tomales circuit. We could slurp a bunch of oysters at Hog Island, eat our way through Point Reyes Station, hike for an hour or two, then work up an appetite so we can eat some more...


 


Yes lets do this!  Can we arrange carpools?

Adele's picture

(post #56631, reply #31 of 99)

Wow! Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all! I would of loved to have gone to CP and would of been really upset by lackluster food and big prices. Happened to a rest that used to be a fav when my parents visited, the last time we were there (a couple of years ago) something was just 'off', the meal just wasn't as nice and it was a bit more expensive, esp. the wines. New chef perhaps? Who knows, luckily we found an even better rest the next time they visited.

But, but, its SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

APonKP's picture

(post #56631, reply #35 of 99)

Pt. Reyes and Tomales, Hog Island Oysters, yes yes yes.  And we might even walk off the calories the cheeses from Cowgirl put on!  May is a great time to be over there when the wild flowers are profuse and hang off the clifts.  A day without fog would be nice.  Unless we went in the summer, when some cooling fog would be nice.  I think that may be the rutting season for the Tule Elk.  Last May we were there and there were gorgeous elk everywhere. 


I would suggest a weekday in St. Helena if possible.  Tourists, you know.  I'll be looking forward to it.

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
nutcakes's picture

(post #56631, reply #41 of 99)

Yes lets plan it soon.  I had such a good time and the day went too fast. 


The beach picnic sounds good and a class sounds fun too.


Edited 4/21/2002 7:58:30 PM ET by Nutcakes

APonKP's picture

(post #56631, reply #69 of 99)

You and I are about the same age.


How much leeway does about leave?  I'm afraid you are being much too kind, but I'll enjoy the idea.


One of those future CT lunches should be at Bay Wolf and include the Market  at Rockridge.    And another thought about a trip over to Pt. Reyes, bakery lovers like me might enjoy stoping at Emporio Rulli in Larkspur on the way, if they haven't been there already.


On another topic, did you try the pizza dough that was in the Fine Cooking mag?   I really like it.


 

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
Marie0507's picture

(post #56631, reply #70 of 99)

"did you try the pizza dough that was in the Fine Cooking mag?Ê"

Yes, but I l prefer Chez Panisse's that I tweaked (more oil, I substituted semolina).

Those ideas all sound great; I also want to go to a Baker's Dozen meeting. I joined well over a year ago, but every single time I can't break away from work. I will make more of an effort if I know I will see some of you there! Does anyone know when the next few meetings are?

MER02's picture

(post #56631, reply #71 of 99)

Photos, finally!

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KitchenWitch's picture

(post #56631, reply #72 of 99)

CP3 From left to right, 1st row: Mangia!, Aussie, AP on KP, Mer


Row 2: Nutcakes, KitchenWitch (who forgot to take off her @#$@!! glasses!)


 


~RuthAnn
Always Smell It First.

~RuthAnn

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #56631, reply #75 of 99)

A real bunch of babes.