Thursday, August 23, 2007
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.
Posted by Casey at 1:25 PM