Eat Well. Do Good

Today was my first experience at a cooking demonstration.

I received an e-mail from Living Social for a deal to The Dogwood Restaurant, and when I saw it a local and sustainable restaurant, I knew I had to check it out.

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The theme today was San Francisco and Berkley and we were presented with menus and mimosas upon entrance.

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The chef is also the owner and he began by explaining their aim for sustainable, seasonal and local foods in their restaurant.

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I really liked the kale behind him, but it made for weird lighting.

Funny enough the first course was California Persimmons, pickled fennel, baby greens and California Olive Oil.

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These persimmons did not taste like the ones I had previously and I finally found out why!  I was not letting them ripen enough (I had waited a week).  Apparently it is hard to get them here ripe on the vine.  I guess I have to wait until I get to Cali to actually enjoy them in their full splendor.  I really liked the pickled fennel that was lightly soaked in Chardonnay vinegar, sugar, salt and a bit of the fennel greens.

We also had a wine pairing with every course and the Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay was my least favorite of the day.

The next course was a caramelized onion tart with blue cheese and fresh thyme.

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I am not good at pastry so it was very interesting to see the many steps that go into combining basically flour and a lot of butter.  You do not want your butter to get warm!

This was good and very crispy due to the fact that they use a pizza stone to make their tarts instead of a tart pan.  I would have liked a bit more of a bold punch from the onions, but they cheese was very good and I was happy to see the greens show up.

The wine pair with this was a Bonny Doon Ca’del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino

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This was much better than the first white, but I am just a much bigger fan of reds.

Next up was the main event and a San Francisco classic : Fisherman’s Warf CioppinoIMG_0465

This basic fish stew was much more than that.  It had sherry, red pepper flakes, clams, mussels, scallops from the coast of New Jersey, white fish and shrimp.

I tried to probe the chef about where he gets his fish, but I cannot find the place he mentioned on the web.IMG_0467IMG_0466

This was paired with the Flowers Pinot Noir, which was really delicious.

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Last but not least was a Ghiardelli Bittersweet Pot de Crème

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They made this look so easy!  Their secret it to add a little bit of Brandy for flavoring.  I couldn’t even taste it.

I was so full by this point, I could only eat half.  I didn’t want to walk away feeling sick after having enjoyed delicious food.

I also had to get one of the servers t-shirts.  I love the simple message.IMG_0474

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Overall I think the food was good, but the demo could use a little polishing.  I had to ask about the wine pairings and they didn’t have enough seats set up for people – you were supposed to RSVP.  The servers were very attentive and a great mix of people.  I sat with a nice group and they gave me some restaurant suggestions for around the area.

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Time to go make some turkey meatballs for dinner…I wish I had the other half of my pot de crème for dessert!

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4 Comments on “Eat Well. Do Good”

  1. rugge says:

    Jealous! Looks like fun. Scallops are THE WORST! You should see how they’re harvested, I’m surprised they had them at a “sustainable” restaurant.

  2. Lindsay says:

    what a good experience! you should write about it for the examiner!


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