Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Last Supper

So...on February 21st, Fat Tuesday to be exact, I decided to go on a diet. Thus far, and we are only ten weeks since then, I have been pretty successful and I have lost 44lbs. Not without a little bit of longing however for good food -namely cheese and good drink - namely wine. So before I did away with sugar or as I like to call it "The Devil," I took myself out for a last supper. We have several very good restaurants here in Sacramento. I feel like we should. We are, after all, the capital of California. I love it when people call my town a "cow town." Good...let them think that, it'll keep our population at bay and people needn't necessarily know that we are not a town of bumpkins but have a modicum of sophistication.

For instance, Ella Dining Room. The menu is Michelin ready and the owner Randall Selland of Selland's and The Kitchen knows food. I'm not talking food as in Mac and Cheese (although he can spin this in a delightful and contemporary way) I'm talking World Cuisine.

My Last Supper was magical for lack of a better word. Firstly, Ella is a stately but not stuffy restaurant with an atmosphere of class but a feeling of comfort.

The dinner menu- all the menus offered- have something for everyone. And they are changed and updated seasonally.






The appetizer course was a house made California Burrata cheese topped with smoked olive oil. The cheese sat atop braised collard greens garnished with crispy Kale leaves.


The dish was an excellent helping but by no means was overkill. It was rich but also refreshing. The cheese was dusted with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The toast corner which accompanied was a perfect accoutrement for layering the onions, greens, cheese and Kale. The gradation of flavors were sumptuous.


My first course is the thing that my husband, my dentist and my oldest, dearest friend craves. It is a basic house made Papparadelle pasta. The verb "pappare" in Italian means "to gobble up."  And with this preparation of these ribbons there is no way that you'd leave any on your plate. 




The strata of flavors on this plate are not to be compared to anything you've ever tasted before. The fresh farm poached egg that creates it's own divinity is coupled by whispers of chives and black pepper. The crumbles of Pancetta adds a savory richness and flavor that is drool worthy. And that lemon butter emulsion is like the white ribbon on the tiffany box; it completes the plate in such a heavenly way that this is the reason I return to Ella. I see no reason (especially since I've given up food) to ever eat any other pasta dish...EVER.

And finally, the piece de resistance...




Why did I take so many photographs you ask? Well, if I could capture the flavor, the essence of this dolce I would. Alas, you'll have to be sated by photos. 
It is a Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with a Tapioca coulis, garnished with supremes and coriander blossoms.

 Coriander is synonymous with Cilantro. But Coriander sounds much nicer especially when talking about sugared blossoms.

The dimensions of this dish were so well planned. The sensuality of this sweet was visceral and so demanding that you could (if you could keep it cold enough) spend an afternoon eating it. It is Trastevere in the Spring, a piano bar with a lover, summertime on a catamaran (insert imagery here).

The textures were braided galaxies.  The tapioca coulis was sweet but not overwhelming to the creaminess of the Panna Cotta which had the tiny snap of the vanilla beans. And the Coriander  Blossoms were surprising but by no means intrusive. Quite the opposite in fact they only served to draw the flavors more closely together. The supremes added color and some tartness. This was such a well rounded dish that I was so glad I did not pass up dessert.
Ella will be your newest friend if you take the time to discover her.

















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