Gratitude to the people who made all the delicious food is not a big enough word for the tastes, smells, sights, sounds of laughter and joy that I was fortunate to share during my trip to the land of sunshine, California, USA. Here’s a sketch of the food in words, which will surely fall short on description. Such are the limits of my culinary vocabulary, C’est dommage.
Dinner at Bistro Liaisons of Berkeley:
1849 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, California 94709
The attention to detail and the customer is efficient, patient and professional from the staff. Our group closed the place down and no one made us uncomfortable.
I had the bouillabaisse. “Seafood stew from Marseille with rock cod, scallops, prawns, mussels & clams infused with saffron, tomato, garlic, fennel & Pastis.”
Are you feelin’ it? Holy catfish! This was a dream meal come true for me because not long ago, I watched Julia Child prepare this dish and I was astounded (no exaggeration) at the amount of fish and the preparation involved in this meal. Thinking, at the time, that this was way above my skill. Would I never taste this? Sometimes wishes come true.
It was perfect. I mean every morsel, every mussel, the dainty little scallops, the cod; the colors were balanced into a seamless blend of food paradise for the palate.
When someone left her duck confit unfinished, guess who came to the rescue? Yes, it was delectably tender and my tongue and brain did a dance of happy flavors. Now truly, normally I would not finish off someone else’s meal, but I made the exception this time. Fate would have it that I would do this again over the next few days.
Dessert: Ile Flottante: “Meringue island afloat in a lagoon of crème anglaise, sprinkled with roasted sliced almonds, and a dash of powdered sugar, plus a lacy tuile cookie”
This was a dessert I read about and wanted to try it. The meringue was as light as a cloud. The crème anglaise was very sweet. How ever were the slivered almonds prepared? Their flavor was so appealing that I kept eating them to figure out “What is that flavor?”
Chef Todd is a genius! Merci beaucoup!
He takes groups to France. See his “Expeditions”.
Thanks to all the wonderful dinner companions for the conversation and the pleasure of your company.
Note: Pastis (French pronunciation: [pa.stis] ; UK /ˈpæstɪs/ or US /pæˈstiːs/) is an anise-flavoredliqueur and apéritif from France, typically containing 40–45% ABV (alcohol by volume), although alcohol-free varieties exist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastis Retrieved June 14, 2013