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Another terrific dinner at Paisan in Berkeley

Hi Ernie,
There was no mention of the family style deal when we dined on Wednesday night. They have a Happy Hour which if you can dine early featured some good pricing on drinks and snacks.

Another terrific dinner at Paisan in Berkeley

We hit Paisan again last night around 6 pm and were seated right away. Cold pints of beer and addictive fried olives started things off on a tasty note. We moved onto a delicious creamily dressed green bean salad with arugula, feta and a few cherry tomatoes. Alongside we tried both a margarita pizza and a "special" pizza featuring corn, peppers and garlic. Everything was delicious! The place started to fill up around 7 pm with a nice lively vibe but we could still hear each other talk.
We finished with a piping hot fruit crisp of apricots and apples. A great night out!

What's your favorite vegetarian pasta recipe?

Caramelize two sliced yellow onions in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add 3-4 tbs of fresh chopped rosemary and a lot of black pepper. Throw in a box of frozen winter squash or the contents of a roasted butternut squash. Boil a pound of rigatoni and save 1 cup of the pasta water. Toss a cup of parmesan and a cup of mascarpone (or cream cheese or heavy cream) into the onion mix. Add the reserved cup of pasta water to the squash and onion goo. Add the cooked rigatoni and 1 tbs of kosher salt. Dump the whole mess into a baking dish and cover with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Apr 07, 2015
kellylee in Vegetarian & Vegan

Eating out in Healdsburg

We really enjoyed Shed the last time we stayed in Healdsburg. We sat inside at one of the big farmhouse tables and ate our way through most of the menu and shared a bottle of wine. Definitely casual but a great waitstaff and terrific food make it a standout.

Cafe BaoNecci - Best Pizza in SF?

Speaking to the 'unripe tomato' point, I recently read in a beautiful cookbook called My Calabria that Italians don't like their tomatoes to be overly ripe. It is an interesting notion-- they would use the ripe tomatoes in sauce but use the less ripe ones in a salad. We loved a recent meal of three pizzas at Cafe BaoNecci but the salad was very basic.

Montero's in Albany

We popped into Montero's last night around 6 pm for a quick bite--in the mood for a sit down dinner rather than a "to go" burrito or taco. We'd been years ago and somehow it had fallen off of our radar. Only a few of the tables were occupied maybe because of the early hour.

They brought us a basket of delicious thick corn chips and some very fresh salsa-- not too chunky so it was easy to scoop up with the chips. We ordered a basket of oven baked sweet potato fries to start-- I was very skeptical. The fries were delicious-- tasted fried not baked-- and the accompanying spicy aioli was lovely.

My husband ordered the chicken enchiladas with green sauce and I had the veggie chimichanga. Both were served with lovely green rice and your choice of beans (black, pinto or refried) as well as a dollop of guacamole and sour cream. Mine had the addition of a chopped tomato and onion salsa. He devoured his in short order claiming it "great" and "why don't we come here more often?" My chimichanga was very lightly fried and not at all heavy. I ate so much of the rice that I could only get about half way through the chimichanga so my husband finished it off. The chimichanga contained grilled onions, zucchini and red peppers along with a goodly amount of cheese-- great flavor!

I highly recommend this spot which I imagine gets hopping as the evening goes on. They have dancing and a full bar but sadly no beer on tap just a selection of 6 or 7 bottled types..

Help! Celebratory splurge Oak/berk next sat

We went to Revival last night. I had the parsnip gnocchi which had little bits of orange cauliflower and some brussels sprout leaves tossed in a butter sauce. It was an excellent dish and vegetarian as far as I could tell. The vibe was lively and the service was more even than on past visits.

Kids at Nizza la Bella? [Albany]

You'll be fine! We've been taking our kid to Nizza ever since she was a tot and they've always been lovely about it.

just moved to east bay - looking for a burrito

Gordo's on Solano is excellent. I always order a super burrito with pinto beans. Hubs always gets super grilled chicken. I always ask for hot sauce-- very fresh and delicious. The counter guys are efficient and if you take the time to say hello they are very nice and will start to smile when they see you come in. A+.

Spanakopita to go?

Looking for a tray of spanakopita to go in the Berkeley/Albany area. Any recs?

July 13 National French Fry Day --- Your Favorites

Another vote for Nizza-- and their aioli is lovely. Cafe Rouge has good fries but they're served with ketchup.

creme brulee - patisserie or take-out in Berkeley/Oakland?

Check with The Pasta Shop down on Fourth Street. I can't speak to the quality but I think I've seen them there. Their pre-made foods are typically quite good.

Romaine lettuce

Rivoli on Solano Avenue in Berkeley has a wonderful salad with mint, lemon, tomatoes, feta, toasted pita bread and romaine. I don't know if its on the menu right now but it is delicious.

Good, reasonably priced Italian in Berkeley/Rockridge

We tried Sportivo last night. The space is nice and the server was a dear but the food was mediocre at best. We had the wood fired asparagus appetizer which was limp and seemed over boiled rather than crisp as we were expecting. Served in an odd fennel broth that reminded one of us of sauerkraut. Three pizzas followed: Margarita, Carnivoro and La Puzzola. Too heavily topped and very oily. The crust edge had a nice flavor but the rest of the pie was soggy due to the excess oil.

Havarti Cheese - best easy uses?

Halve a baguette, rub with a cut garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on some red chili flake, a little salt and pepper, cover in thinly sliced havarti and broil until bubbly. Yum! Serve with tomato soup?

Dec 02, 2011
kellylee in Home Cooking

Some ideas for dinner with basic store-cupboard stuff

A strata made with onions, potatoes, cheese, herbs, milk and eggs? Many kinds of soups could be made with those ingredients and served with some focaccia or rolls and a salad. Garlic spaghetti is my "go to" when the cupboards are lean. Spanish tortilla would use the potatoes, onions and eggs.

Nov 29, 2011
kellylee in Home Cooking

"Higher-End" Takeout -- Oakland/Berkeley?

I can vouch for the deliciousness of Summer Kitchen's pizzas. I sampled them at COLLECTOR's opening party (new gallery next door to SK).

Seeking quiet but festive restaurant in Oakland or Berkeley for small 90th birthday celebration

Seconding Rivoli. Let them know its a birthday celebration and they'll make it feel special. My older relatives enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The food is always delicious.

Rivoli Restaurant
1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

Brew on Premise

We went to Elevation 66 last night and the place was hopping. The beer was great but the food was disappointing. That said, I would definitely go back for beers and fries, I just wouldn't stay for dinner. The vibe was friendly and convivial bordering on noisy with a nice mix of families and couples.

Where can I buy milk powder in the Bay Area?

I buy milk powder for yogurt making at Monterey Market in Berkeley. I will check to see if it is full fat and let you know.

Good, reasonably priced Italian in Berkeley/Rockridge

Can anyone speak to the style of the pizza? Wood fired?

Good, reasonably priced Italian in Berkeley/Rockridge

Trattoria La Siciliana is a nice choice as they offer "family style" platters with very generous portions for the price. The last time I went they were cash only- just so you know.

Trattoria La Siciliana
2993 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

Zut! - former Eccolo [Berkeley]

I finally went to Zut! last night for cocktails and dinner. We had a wonderful experience. The waitstaff was lovely and the sangria divine. We tried all three pizzas, margherita, blue cheese/pear/onion and a pork cheek. Thin and chewy- very good. The little gems salad with buttermilk dressing was particularly delicious. We shared an ice cream sundae with crunchy, salty almond bits and fudge sauce. The vibe was fun and casual but it still felt special. The french fries were good but I might request them "well done" next time.

1820 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Sandwiches in the East Bay

The sandwiches at Eunice Cafe in Albany (1162 Solano Ave.) are quite good--- also, they sell gelato!

Canning Classes in the SF Bay Area

The Institute for Urban Homesteading has classes:

Chez Panisse Cafe disappointment

We ate upstairs. I feel like Pizzaiolo is CPC's competition foodwise. The vibe at Pizzaiolo is livelier and the food is excellent. In Berkeley, maybe Rivoli or Gather??

5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Rivoli Restaurant
1539 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

Chez Panisse Cafe disappointment

We went a few weeks ago for my daughter's 12th birthday. Not only did they treat her like a queen, with a tour of the kitchen and the gift of a Cafe Fanny cookbook but she loved every bite she took. In fact, we all loved our food and we're a tough crowd. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

Cafe Fanny
1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

The 2011 Garden

We have 3 Buffs and 2 Austrolorps. The buffs are big girls and lay big eggs. They're a total delight. Brown eggs. Have fun with yours! I'm enjoying your blog-- thanks for sharing!

Apr 15, 2011
kellylee in Gardening

Best Cookbook for Eating What you Grow

I like Deborah Madison's Local Flavors. It deals with seasonal farmers market fare but works for the home garden harvest, too.

Apr 14, 2011
kellylee in Gardening

The 2011 Garden

Wow-- so inspiring! Your chickens are lovely. What kind are they?

Apr 14, 2011
kellylee in Gardening