Saturday, January 2, 2016

Capodanno at La Balena v. 2015

We've gotten in the habit of eating our capodanno dinner at our favorite restaurant: La Balena. What a delicious tradition!

Here was my post from Capodanno v.2013 and Capodanno v.2014. Capodanno v.2015 was no exception. I made our reservations early in the evening knowing that they get crowded and we wanted to head home for movies and family fun.

While I am not typically a fan of Chardonnay, I tried a glass from Italy and it was more lean and more crisp than its California counterparts. Very nice.

We always order the Polpo Grigliato, grilled octopus. This time, it was served with ceci (garbanzo beans), escarole, and a limoncello vinaigrette. D is sensitive to garbanzo beans, so he skipped those. But we all dug in voraciously.

We had two salads. Jake ordered. D ordered La Vigna - arugula, shaved fennel, blood orange, almonds, and a honey-Meyer lemon vinaigrette.

R is still not a huge fan of salad. He "washed down the salad with Trippa Fiorentina." When R was in 5th grade, his teacher made tripe as part of their anatomy unit. R has been a fan ever since. It's not my favorite, but I will eat anything that Chef Brad Briske makes. So, we go with it. 

When it came time to pick our main dishes, one of us had to get the Pesce Arrosto. It was whole roasted bream with mussels, watermelon radish, and a saffron-whipped lardo butter. 

I ordered the Fregola Sarda because I cannot resist anything with Monterey Bay spot prawns. Besides, I've always been intrigued by this Sardinian couscous. It was as delicious as it was beautiful. Seriously, Chef Brad is a culinary genius...and an artist. 

"Mommy, look at my belly," said the Enthusastic Kitchen Elf. So, we're going to skip dessert? "Mom! Don't be silly!" Right.

D ordered the Spumoni Bomba which is almost as big as his head. Almost. He did share a bite or two with Jake, but not much more.

R went for the Cioccolato e Pera, melt-in-your-mouth pears encased in a dense, rich chocolate cake.

Jake and I skipped dessert, knowing that we were going to have a croquembouche at home. But I can never resist a strong cup of caffe. Yes, espresso is the perfect way to end a wonderful meal.

I am already looking forward to our Capodanno v. 2016...though I know we'll be back there long before next December! Buon anno!!

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