Chez Panisse: the Holy Grail of American Food

I booked a reservation at Chez Panisse when we were in Berkeley a couple of weeks ago.  This is a place that I’ve read about extensively.  There’s probably no other restaurant or restauranteur who has been written about as much as Chez Panisse and Alice Waters.  It’s been argued that she started the new American Food movement, a movement toward fresh, local ingredients prepared simply.  

Being a good sport, J agreed to eat lunch at the Chez Panisse cafe.  The smaller, cheaper, more accessible part of the joint.  Now you have to understand that this is a man who will consume fruit but not vegetables and while Chez Panisse isn’t vegetarian, it leans strongly in that direction.  You know it’s love when a man will agree to go to a restaurant where he’ll likely put down $100 and leave hungry.  

 

Me and Chez Panisse

Me and Chez Panisse

It really is as good as people say.  That’s me in the photo and you can see the restaurant reflected in the mirrors behind me.  I had a beet and avocado salad that was simple but to die for, followed by freshly made pasta with pesto.  It was SO darn good I thought I’d died.  Then I had an apricot tart for desert.  We could only find a one hour parking spot and didn’t have time for desert but the folks at Chez Panisse were kind enough to pack up the tart, sans ice cream, and let me take it with me.  It made getting lost in Berkeley much more pleasurable!  

If you get a chance–GO!  Have you been?  Post a comment and tell us how it was for you!

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