Saturday, January 6, 2007

A thin thread

I know we’re not even that far into January but I feel the urge to report I’m hanging on to my resolutions by a thin, thin thread.

It’s been pretty fantastic.

Looking back, I see that the seed of possible failure was planted in December.

It was when Luca and I went to Ferrari Foods looking for Panettone, a sweet, fluffy bread typical from Milan, indispensable for any self-respecting Northern Italian who intends to serve a Christmas meal. Ferrari Foods offers an imported hand made Panettone artigianale. It turned out to be one of the best Luca has ever had (his words this time, not mine.) Following Milanese tradition that dates back hundreds of years, we saved what was left over and have been eating (minuscule) slices ever since.

My father, Carmen, Luca and I had serial feasts during their holiday visit to the Coast. We went to Pasta Moon (twice), Bangkok House, Café Gibraltar, and Cetrella. Of all those beloved, well-frequented restaurants my favorite this time around was Cetrella. We started with a startling fritto misto with chanterelle mushrooms and cauliflower. Then, I had a large dish of mussels in white wine, which we followed with a cheese platter. Carmen ordered dessert and since it wasn’t yet 2007, I gave myself permission to taste it. My point being that serial feasting is not conducive to frugal January behavior.

January Third. Luca took me to a new restaurant for my birthday: Perbacco. I hereby declare it the best Italian restaurant in San Francisco and have added it to my careful selection of restaurants on the left column of this blog.

I had a pear, honey, hazelnut, and Gorgonzola salad and then a ciuppin, a brothy, tomatoey, fresh seafood stew, piled high with scallops, shrimp, oysters, clam and fish. I also ate half of Luca’s pappardelle with braised meat ragu and chantarelles.

For dessert (Luca made me!) I tasted three different flavors of gelato(pistacchio, caramel with black sea salt and chocolate) and ate one and a half of my favorite cookies ever: brutti ma buoni.

(I’ve written about brutti ma buoni before, as well as recounted my valiant quest to find the best in the world. I would not dare say that the best brutti ma buoni might not be found in Italy, but you get my drift, right?)

January 4th. Post birthday celebration. Dinner with Scott and Erin at Sushi on Main Street. I don’t go there often because I’m not sold on the décor, because it tends to be noisy and because the service is atrocious – but, wow. The hot Tuna rolls, shitake steaks and sesame spinach sure bring out the patient person in you.

Am I eating less sugar? Just barely. Thank God for the multivitamin resolution.

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