A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to one of the most famous restaurants in the nation. My family and I went to Chez Panisse.

We were going there to celebrate my parent’s twentieth anniversary. Unfortunately, my brother wasn’t feeling well so  he didn’t come with us.  We left enough time for us to got to Berkeley Bowl and to get to our reservation on time. We had TERRIBLE traffic and took us around two hours for a usual 45 minute trip. We ended up getting to the restaurant right on time.

Because my taste buds are not “fully developed”, we decided to eat in the upstairs cafe and not the restaurant, where there is only one, pre-determined menu. After my mom and I went to the EXTREMELY small bathroom, we walked by the bar where they had all the fresh ingredients laid out for the chefs to use.  I was getting hungry already!

For the first course we shared small pizza with black trumpet mushrooms and gremolata and a garden lettuce salad with baked Andante Dairy goat cheese.  They were very different from each other and both were delicious.  My main course was a celebration of spring – a house-made pasta with Tomales Bay clams, green garlic and peas.  Dee-lish.  We weren’t done yet!  Our dessert was a bittersweet chocolate pave’ with burnt caramel ice cream.  Also wonderful.

Chez Panisse really is a great restaurant.  My parents said the service wasn’t as good as the last time they had been there, but I didn’t know any better, so I loved it.  I can’t wait to go back some day.

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