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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.


Trattoria Buon Gusto


Happy holidays everyone! I'm spending a week or so in Vancouver now. I've got a couple of old SF posts before I start going into Australia. Here is a meal with my dad and Auntie Maggie near her new house in Menlo Park at Trattoria Buon Gusto. Menlo Park seems like an odd place to go to eat, but it turns out Buon Gusto has a real Italian grandmother cooking in the back. The restaurant is comfortable and casual, with a pretty simple menu of traditional classics. The place is a definition of the friendly neigbborhood spot.

arancini - deep-fried rice balls filled with meat sauce, peas and mozzarella - $9.5 Arancini is one of my favorite items. It was one of the first things I liked, back when they served it at the now-closed Bonta on Union Street. These risotto balls were probably the biggest I've ever seen, with a nice crunchy crust and hearty filling.

melanzana alla siciliana - sliced eggplant floured and fried, layered with mozzarella cheese and oven-baked - $7.5 Auntie Maggie was quick to order this, and it turns out she had good reason. I've never really this dish made this way. It almost looked like a cheese sandwich using eggplant slices instead of bread. The result was that it actually tasted like eggplant with some cheese, rather than a big mess of batter and tomato sauce. Good stuff.

pappardelle ai porcini - white egg pasta with porcini, garlic, white wine in light cream sauce - $13.25 I couldn't resist ordering this simple pappardelle. The sauce was quite rich and had a strong porcini flavor, and the noodles did a great job mopping everything up.

vitello alla marsala - lightly floured veal sauteed and flambed with marsala wine - $16.25 The veal was pretty good. The sauce was dark and intense, but I think the veal was just a tad bit overcooked. Still a great rendition of the dish, and one of the better ones that I've had in recent memory. It's good to see some real Italian food being served up even over in Menlo Park. Just goes to show you we've got a lot of food in the bay. I hope everyone enjoys the holidays!

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