Caspar Institute logo

LUNCH pages

15 April 2013 : Makawao, Maui            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

First Mama sent out an amuse bouche of Haiku Tomatoes and Hana Ginger Bisque that I'm going to have to duplicate, we enjoyed Seared Ahi on Manoa Lettuce with the aformentioned tomatoes and shaved fennel, Opakapaka cheeks, and Maui Onion Soup. On point, fresh, one of our three best meals.

20 August 2015 : Astoria            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

Enrique Sanchez and his crew hard at working pushing out magnificent plates

Bet you know what's coming: good food. Would you believe, one of the four or five best meals Rochelle and I have ever eaten? 

Poblano Pepper - Peach Shrimp Bisque with goat cheese

image for this panel

Halibut over grilled peaches; Salmon kabob salad with Israeli couscous and arugula

Worth all the frustration of the drive, wouldn't you say?' asked Rochelle, who had bravely navigated the last nasty couple of hours. With a front row seat – one of four – overlooking the kitchen, there was a lot to be learned about teamwork and the care that goes into a steady stream of plates going out to a chock-full lunch service. Not only did this make up for the unpleasant drive, it erased the disappointment of last night's dinner. Indeed, a lunch – we ate our big meal of the day, of course – to savor for a long time.

We were so enamored by this place that we visited again in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (so far...)

10 September 2015 : Ashland            jump to this page > > >
Jacksonville & One Play
image for this panel

A gentle day today: a ride over to our favorite kitchen and provision stores in Jacksonville, and an outstanding lunch at the C Street Bistro. This little boutique of a town hosts the Britt Festival, a music celebration that hasn't ever quite appealed to us ... but their Festival has given the town the outside profile it's needed to get its terminal cute on ...and that we do fall for. I would have to observe, however, that our old standbyes, Kitchen and Provisions, aren't keeping up, and this may be our last visit to them. C Street Bistro, however, is worth the lazy trip over the vine-covered hills from Ashland.

This whole southern Oregon valley, an east-west wrinkle in a generally north-south terrain, Bear Creek and the Rogue through Grants Pass, is a singularly blessed spot on the planet. High dessert, except for the streams from the hills around. Today, the smoke from the still-burning fires has been pushed to the north end of the valley, and the sky is cloudless and blue.

11 May 2016 : Barcelona            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

Back on a side street, a pinxos restaurant beckoned to us, and we were seated in a corner with a convenient mirror so we could see everyone. Along one wall, a triple layer spread of tapas, called pinxos (pinch-os) in Catalan is arrayed. "Take what you like, but save the sticks. Each one is 1.95€."

15 May 2016 : Barcelona            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

We retraced our steps to the harbor, crowded with market stalls selling antiques and vendors with their wares on blankets, and escaped into the Barceloneta neighborhood, a reurbicación (what we would call urban renewal) of what used to be the tumble-down shacks of Barcelona's fishing village: narrow tall apartments in long rows on a grid of streets. We were looking for Bodega La Peninsular, reputed to be be a friendly-to-outsiders local pub. We had a simple lunch (and forgot to take pictures): papas bravas, the local take on french fries, tasty sausages, and a tomato and garlic salad. By the time we were done, the place was full of locals in full cry. 

We notice that the interpersonal space here is half or less what we reserve in California, while the volume of normal conversation is about doubled. We recognize that we are no longer fitted for this kind of urban living. "This is a place for young people," observes Rochelle a little later.

17 May 2016 : Collioure            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

from left: Collioure salade with anchovies, fish soup and amendments, chicken Catalan style, crême catalan

image for this panel

There is an abundance of restaurants in Collioure, because it's a day-trip destination as well as a known delight to stay. They're all gearing up for summer; yesterday was Whit Monday, and the place was crowded. Today, it's modestly busy, and all the shopkeepers have time to chat. 

So far, not even a soupçon of a bad meal. Even my sélection Catalan (€19.90) showed evidence of serious cheffing. Besides the overall deliciousness, the soup was smooth and perfectly seasoned, and the "Catalan-style" (meaning somewhat rough) sauce with the chicken was something I will try to replicate at home. Crême Catalan is like flan, only with a thin brulée crust. Good flavors.

18 May 2016 : Collioure            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

Our server deluges Rochelle with French, and somehow she manages to look like she's understanding. The explanation is so quick and technical I get only part of it, but eventually the server takes me outside and we negotiate lunch from the menu board. Thereupon follows some très raffiné haut cuisine prepared by a French-born Japanese chef.

We start with a salad focused on Collioure's signature food: anchovies (not at all the salty things you've had from a can; more like smelt or night fish) with a petit pois gazpacho and tiny greens; next, tuna barely cooked with two sauces on a bed of meticulously prepared potatoes, leeks, and carrots. Finally, a fine gateaux with strawberries and chocolate ganache floating in dark chocolate sauce with a perfect little dollop of strawberry sorbet.   

We walk out two hours later well fed (but not stuffed at all) and Rochelle says, "That was a very special meal."

19 May 2016 : Collioure            jump to this page > > >
image for this panel

We stopped for lunch at the "#1 restaurant in Banyuls" according to French Trip Advisor. Maybe. The welcome was indeed cordial, and our server had enough English so we could amuse each other speaking the other's language. The entree and the dessert were four star, but the main was lamentable. Those are almost tempura shrimp; their batter was almost as crispy as a good croissant and paper thin. (If there had been five of them instead of three, it would have been four stars.) The gateaux au chocolate was creamy in the middle, swimming in a lake of white chocolate, with a piped floret of chantilly and a boule of raspberry sorbet. 

next group : Collioure

other topics:    Dinners     Markets     Transport

Search Query
website copyright © 2011-2021 by Caspar Institute
Feedback and comments welcome! Email us!

updated 17 December 2020 Caspar Time
site software and photographs by the  Caspar Institute  except as noted
this site generated with 100% recycled electrons!
send website feedback to the CI webster