Saturday, January 15, 2011
It's been a long time since I've blogged about a restaurant, and that's not to imply that I haven't had some great meals as of late, I have, but it's been a long time since I've had one as memorable as the one we had yesterday evening at Plum in Oakland.
I'd been looking forward to going to Plum since it opened in early October. Now that I've been, I can't believe I even waited that long. I'm kicking myself for not taking a copy of the menu, but from memory, here's what we had:
Chickpea Fritters with Wild Green Panisse & Housemade Yogurt (Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, a great combination of spice and then the cool tang of the yogurt)
Leeks Vinaigrette with Radish, Fresh Goat Cheese, Ash & Cress (Interesting combination, I know the ash sounds a bit strange, but it was hardly detectable)
Young Carrots with Breadcrumbs, Pickled Garlic and Wood Sorrel in Brown Butter (Carrots should always be served this way, tender and soaked in brown butter with crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs to compliment. Wonderful)
Parsnip & Grilled Pear Soup (the standout of the evening. Winter in a bowl.)
Some Sort of Steak with Roasted Potatoes (it was amazing, but I can't remember the details on this one. Suffice it to say that it was gone in about 2 minutes flat.)
Cheesecake in Jar with Poached Quince & Persimmon (Whimsical, creamy, tangy, sweet and smooth. Everything a dessert should be, with a great sense of fun.)
I have a food blog, so it's safe to say that I'm pretty nuts on the subject. I remember a good meal or a particular dish as though it's a momentous occasion in my life. I never forget the name of a restaurant I liked (that tends to run in the family) and I've been known to go so far as to tear up in joy when confronted with a plate, or bowl of something that really blows me away. It's the same feeling when you come across a really great book, or see a movie or play that will stay with you forever. I love when this happens. It happens less often than I'd like, but it happened last night with the Parsnip & Roasted Pear Soup, which was like velvet, cream and the taste of winter all in one bowl.
If I were ever able to make a soup like that one, I could consider myself extremely accomplished. It would be the equivalent of a PhD in soup making.
The new Chef at Plum is Charlie Parker, who used to work for The Cellar Door Cafe at Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz (I love that winery, but haven't been to the cafe yet). He's good at what he does, to say the least. He got two people who are fairly indifferent to carrots to suddenly take an extreme interest.
I highly recommend Plum. It's not cheap, but it's a great space for a inventive and delicious meal. Oakland scores another winner. I'm finding less and less reason to eat in San Francisco with such stellar competition rising in the East Bay.
Posted by Elissa at Saturday, January 15, 2011