Showing posts from December 3, 2006

Lunch at Pinxto, Dinner at Amber

Had lunch with Sarah at Google's Pinxto cafe. This is our "small plate" Basque Tapas cafe and I love it. I usually have all three soups, whatever interesting "drink" of the day, a seafood appetizer and a couple of dishes. Today was no different. Going clockwise starting with the soup in the 9 o'clock position I had: saffron clam soup with israeli couscous, white bean soup with lardons, wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil, marinated baby squid, red pepper gazpacho with basil parmesan crisp, minestrone, beefsteak milanese, white sardine with proscuitto. I also had a nice tiramisu for dessert and a fresh squeezed grape/lychee juice to drink.

Dinner was with my friends Randi and Marty, at Amber India in Mountain View. It's mostly moghlai style. We started with papri chaat at my suggestion - they'd never had chaat before and as a relatively recent convert to the joys of chaat I had to introduce them. Amber makes a very nice papri chaat. Again starting …

Bar Tartine

Bar Tartine is another place I've been meaning to get back to. Last time I had their frites that are fried in duck fat and I wanted them again. Unfortuately they usually have a long wait for walk ins, and I'm not so good at planning ahead. Fortunately last night I knew Lori and I were going to be having dinner, so I called ahead and made reservations.

We arrived about ten minutes early and sat at the bar while they got our table ready. We had good rustic Tartine Bakery bread, and an apertif of Prosecco with Navarro Pinot Noir grape juice. I'm not usually a fan of prosecco, or of sweet apertifs in general but this worked well. I think the acidity of the grape juice helped. We sat and examined the menu. To my disappointment they no longer have frites on the menu! After about a 30 minute wait (!) they seated us. To their credit they did come by periodically to apologize and give us updates but the wait was too long.

Lori ordered the charcuterie plate and the onglet, while I ha…


I've been hoping to get back to Delfina at some point, and tonight we got the chance. We walked in off the street at around 8:30 - no tables but sat right down at the counter. Started with a small dish of olives and a glass of dry prosecco, Debbie had an oaky reisling/? from Italy. First course was baked littleneck clams in a tomato ragu with house cured guanciale. I used the bread to sop up the sauce. Yum. Next was a salad of "bitter greens" (frisee, radicchio, and mache) with pancetta, walnuts, shaved parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette. I had a nice dolcetto with this dish. For the main course we shared a nettle risotto with wild mushrooms. Finally Debbie had a buttermilk panna cotta with blood oranges and I had a "pomellini" - pomegranate syrup in sweet prosecco.

Scavenging for dinner

We're trying to use up stuff in our freezer, so I asked Debbie what I should fix. "How about shrimp?" "Ok!" "We have some corn tortillas too." "Ok!"

I took the shrimp, added chili powder, black pepper, rock salt, and juice of one lemon. Let it marinate while I shredded four pieces of random cheese I found in the fridge, and then sliced up some cabbage and shallot. Put the shrimp on skewers and toasted them over the gas burner. Toasted the tortillas over the open flame. Assembled tortillas, grilled shrimp, shallot, cheese, and toasted them in the toaster oven. Added shredded cabbage and served with nice Shasta Brewing golden ale.

The tortillas got soggy from the shrimp moisture. The shrimp tails were inconvenient. Next time put the shallot and cheese on the toasted tortillas, put them under the broiler to melt. Serve with cabbage on the tortillas and shrimp on the side.

I am going to miss masa harina in India, I can just tell.

Visa adventures

Being diligent I had filled out all the visa paperwork many days ago. Passport sized pictures and all. Indian visas are pretty straightford, you apply for one of three basic visas: transit, tourist, or business. A transit visa is for people who are on their way to somewhere else (the visas that Rick was brokering in "Casablanca" were transit visas), a tourist visa is for tourists, and a business visa is for anyone who wants to conduct business during their visit (me!)

Debbie was getting a six month tourist visa. No problem, just provide your passport, a couple of local USA references, and $60 - poof. Unless you're a known undesirable you're in. I wanted a six month business visa. For that you need the same as a tourist visa, plus two references in India and a letter from your company explaining why India should give you a visa. I had at first thought I would just go on a tourist visa, but the nice Google immigration lawyer (Google has immigration lawyers!) told me tha…

Backing up my life

Last night I went to The Clay Studio to hook up John's personal phone line. It felt weird being there in the studio all quiet and empty with just Marsha cleaning up. I probably won't be spending a lot of time there anymore. An intense six months or so, really getting in to making functional pottery, now "poof!" and gone. I do love the pots we've made though, and I hope I'll stay with it, but you never know.

Today was all about backing up files and getting things ready for moving and selling. We continue to have little crises - is this really the right thing to do? Can we really sell this place we love? Oh my god! We'll get through it though. Tomorrow I'm going to go try to get visas.

Tonight we went and had dinner with our friend Scott and Roswitha and their friends Suku and Latha in Menlo Park. Suku is a NRI from Bangalore, and a silicon valley professional. We had good conversations about living in Bangalore, and Suku has promised to introduce us to a…

Getting rid of stuff

Today I interviewed the second estate sale person I think we'll probably go with the first one. Dragged a bunch more books out of the closets. Sarah and Kathleen came over and gave some of our books a good home. Even though I want to get rid of them it's still hard.

I'm embarrassed to say I picked up a couple of "things" today. A USB<-->3.5" PATA/ 2.5" PATA/SATA adapter that works on "naked" drives. They're small, and cheap, and are letting me get all my data off those random drives I have lying around.

Later David Weekly came over and picked up Debbie's Radian it took four of us (David, his friend, Kathleen, and me) to get it into his friend's pickup truck, but we did it. Another thing off to a good home.