Sunday, March 31, 2013

Another La Balena Adventure

When my dad said that he wanted to go out for an Easter lunch, I didn't even skip a beat in suggesting, "La Balena!" Why? The food, the owners, the chef, their philosophy, their quality, the atmosphere, and - oh, did I already mention?!? - the food.

To me, holiday meals are about family. I want to linger. I want to chat. I want to spend time with the people that I love. So, we usually don't go out to eat on holidays. But I have to say, lunching at La Balena today was perfect...and a culinary adventure to boot.

Emmanuele brought out a plate of Tripa Toscana for us to try share. Tripa? Tripe?! I know lots of people eat it. I am not one of them. Usually.

But, it was worth it. I actually had seconds...and so did Riley. So tender it melted in my mouth. And the flavors were complex. I'm not sure what was in there, but it was delicious. Just like Brian admits to now eat beets - but only at my house. I will say that I eat tripe - but only at La Balena.

The other dish that Emmanuele brought out for us to try: rabbit loin. On a bed of greens and fava beans.

Dylan took a bite and asked what it was. "Rabbit," answered Emmanuele. Dylan didn't say a word until after Emmanuele left. Rabbit?!? As in the Easter Bunny?!? "No," I assured him, "it wasn't the Easter Bunny. Okay. And he kept eating.

Photo by La Balena Carmel
We also feasted on Alaskan halibut that Chef Brad picked up in Santa Cruz. I saw this photo on facebook this morning and knew that someone at our table would order it. In fact two someones ordered it - Jake and Riley.

We had wild boar and potato frittata; meatballs, zuppa rustica with lots of greens; two kinds of pecorino and gorgonzola dolce; cantaloupe, peach, and pear mostarda; blood orange and limoncello sorbetti, pizzelle; affogato; and more.

What a perfect Easter lunch. Complimenti to everyone at La Balena...e Buona Pasqua!

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