Sunday, May 11, 2008

Real Italian Chef Inside


In heavy report writing mode last week at the office, I looked up and it was nearly past lunchtime, so I stopped in after the rush was gone at Rustico on Caledonia in Sausalito. The bartender subbed as waiter as well, and was friendly as could be. The chef came out of the kitchen thinking lunch was past at 1:20 I'm sure, but then he noticed me.

Garlic Cheese Bread

As quick as a wink he wisked my breadbasket of foccacia slices away saying they were old, and do I like garlic bread? "Yes", I replied, and hearing his accent, asked if he was from Italy. "Just got off the boat!", he responded as he walked back into the kitchen, also hearing that I'd like a small Caesar to start. And in no time flat some tasty cheesy-garlic warm bread was placed in front of me. "You know we have a great meat lasagne today", he said temptingly. "I'm eating vegetarian these days", I responded with great control. (It's usually very rewarding to follow the recommendations of an Italian chef!)

Small Caesar

And out came my well portioned and crisp Caesar salad.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

And not long after I finished it, my Spaghetti Puttanesca followed. Ah! What a delight! Notice how the spaghetti is artfully swirled in a perfect pile, with no wild tendrils hanging out? The sauce was well integrated, clinging seductively to the al dente pasta. You could see well-bodied crushed tomato drops holding the pasta gently, all the way down its silken length. Imagine smoothly blended taste exploding freshly on your tongue with a finish of kalamata olive flavor. Ohh... I'll be back here for lunch again!

Previously reviewed:
December 17, 2006


Zoomie said...

Caesar salad is one of those dishes that tell you right away if a place is good - if it's crisp and made with inner leaves, it's almost certain the rest of the meal will be lovely, too.

Anonymous said...

The bread looks so good. :)