Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sunday Supper, Italian-style

I'm still purring with delight at the memory of last Sunday's dinner: a four-course, set-menu meal served family-style at La Posta in Santa Cruz. Describing the menu makes the food sound prosaic: tomato bruschetta, followed by a zucchini frittata, chicken caciatore as the main course and a melon sorbetto for dessert. But the bruschetta was topped with a cascade of fresh cranberry beans, the frittata was tender with young zucchini, the tomato sauce on the chicken was rich with olives and the sorbetto was made from aromatic Charentais melon. Oh, and with the chicken came a bowl of perfect -- perfect, I tell you -- polenta. We scraped the sides of the serving bowl to get every bite.

I'm a huge fan of chef Chris Avila's food, which always shows a dedication to the Italian traditions of simplicity and seasonality. I asked him if he'd spent extensive time in Italy. "Just one trip," he told me, "but I look at a lot of cookbooks." High on his list of favorite cookbook writers? "I really like Mario Batali," he said. And I suspect that if Batali should visit Santa Cruz, he'd really like the food at La Posta.


mamele said...

that sounds wonderful. homey and luxe-y at once. exactly what i want to eat!

lmc said...

it does indeed sound wonderful. i love a perfect polenta and it is not easy to find!

Anonymous said...

Dear Margin Notes,
Please skulk around said restaurant until you secure said polenta recipe... mmmmmmmm

mikki said...

Bruschetta, being one of the few things I ever make, is high on my list! Love to hear variations. I tore one out the other day that used cranberries, not cranberry beans, but I stupidly only tore out the first half of the recipe, nto the second half on the next page.
The end.