A quick run down of meals Mister and I have shared over the last week or so.
We met up with lovely Martha for a late dinner at À Côté. We had our rehearsal dinner at À Côté and it was fabulous as were most of our meals there. Last fall, Mister and I were told by the hostess we'd have a 15 minute wait for a table. It was 90 minutes before we sat down. We weren't sure about going back until we made arrangements with Martha. Good thing we did. We checked in with the hostess at 6:30 to set up an 8pm table. The hostess was great, seating us at 7:40 so we would have a table. Mister sipped a glass of wine and we shared a plate of pomme frites while we waited for Martha.
Then we ordered too much food: romaine and asparagus salad (lovey!) with sieved egg; grilled flatiron steak; asparagus flatbread; bocatini with lamb (this one might not be right); roasted sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes); something else. What was it?
Mister and I hit Dopo that same week. We easily find excuses to drop into the eatery.
On Wednesday, I picked up lunch at Tacubaya. This is becoming a regular thing with me since Wednesday is my short day. My usual is the Sopa de Tortilla and Ensalada de Primavera for lunch. I order a couple of tacos (steak or tongue and pork) to takeaway.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Where else have we been? We joined the Footles at the Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland. Opened by Tanya Holland, BSK sits in the old Island Jerk location on Mandela Parkway. There isn't much around it but boy, people were coming in and waiting for breakfast — could it be the grits calling their names? Holland is originally from New York, trained in France (in Burgundy). This is high end southern cooking with nice touches like Blue Bottle Coffee ($2 a cup, no free refills) and silky organic grits with perfectly poached eggs on top.
Not surprisingly we over-ordered with Mister and Mr. Footle each ordering a ridiculous portion of French toast — too sweet for my taste with pecans, whipped cream, and syrup. Mr. Footle's was late coming out. It turns out the kitchen was two cooks short. Yikes! We had marveled at the calmness of the back of house staff when our waitress let us know (we looked aggrieved at the irregular dropping of our orders).
The food was delicious. Mrs. Footle had organic yogurt with housemade granola (Yuh-umm) while the Footles and I shared an unsticky sticky bun. I'll stick with the flaky (was that lard I tasted? mmmm) biscuit. Mister and I shared the biscuit, but there is no reason to share. Well, there are reasons to not share, the biscuit is that good.
Radio Africa & Kitchen
We caught what was apparently the last Radio Africa & Kitchen for the East Bay. Bummer because it was, once again, delicious. Last time we ate with Chef Eskender Aseged, we had a table for four. This time, however, we were at the community table with a large group of friends from as far away as Boston. The owner of Sweet Adeline's, where Radio Africa & Kitchen is held, was part of this group.
Again we began with edamame hummus with house cured olives, mild greens that complemented the smooth hummus. Out came wild big eye tuna kitfo (tartare) with mitmita and basil — I only had a nibble but Mister and Mr. Footle dug into this beautifully minced and spicy (!!) tartare. I think my favorite was the Moroccan-style roasted eggplant crostini. It was mild enough to taste the parsely but had a little kick to it at the end. We also shared an arugula salad with sweet beets and creamy Andante Dairy goat cheese.
The main courses, a wild halibut baked in banana leaves with Mission Farm herbs (fresh thyme on top) and a mixed vegetable ratatouille was lovely but I thought the very rich mushroom bastilla (think of it like a Mediterranean phyllo-dough layered dish with chicken minus the phyllo and the chicken) was savory and satisfying.
Perhaps the best part, though, was the finish. A Sweet Adeline almond and rhubarb tart topped with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Lovely.