Alice briefs the Chez Panisse staff, Live Oak Park
Eastside Road, March 13, 2013—OH BOY, BACK DOWN to Berkeley, with time for just a sandwich at lunch before a staff meeting in a park near Chez Panisse.
I mentioned the fire here a couple of days ago. The latest information I have is pretty well what you may already have read here, for example: the Café hopes to be open for its April 1 birthday, without its porch tables; the downstairs dining room will take a little longer but will probably open after another week or so, probably also without its porch.
The porches, upstairs and down, will be rebuilt in the meantime, in the familiar Berkeley chalet style, whose roots go back to Bernard Maybeck and the turn of the previous century.
The sandwich was grilled Swiss cheese on light rye bread, perhaps a little oilier than I like, but with a competent cole slaw and a few absolutely delicious dill pickles on the side. We like this place, partly because we like Peter its proprietor, one of the many unsung alums of Chez Panisse.
Pinot grigio• Saul's Deli, 1475 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; 510-848-3354
Supper at home, then, needed be no more tha a nice big salad with my usual vinaigrette. Lindsey's been working hard in her garden and found that lots of mâche has come up here and there, so generous handfuls went into a salad otherwise dedicated to locally grown red leaf-lettuce.
The lettuce has really nice structure, crisp and substantial, and flavor, too. But the mâche! Lots of flavor, fresh, redolent of its garden setting — what a pleasure!
Cheap Pinot grigio, cheap Barbera d'Asti