I took the J Muni line to Noe Valley this week. Destination: Omnivore Books. A store dedicated solely to cookbooks. A dream come true, really.
Cookbook author and former Bay Area inhabitant David Lebovitz was scheduled to visit the bookstore for an autograph signing. I wanted to get my copy of his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, in preparation of the author signing.
As I crossed the street to head to the bookstore, I passed a man with earbuds and did a double take.
Me: "Did I just pass Chris Cosentino?"
Celia the Bookstore Owner: "Yes! He was just in here. His restaurant is just two blocks down the street."
Me: "Do they serve lunch?"
So yes, I recognized a chef walking the streets from my hours of watching food geek television. And yes, after making my book purchase, I headed straight to Cosentino's restaurant, Porcellino, for lunch.
I chose the salami sandwich, sauteed, garlicky broccolini, and a lavender lemonade. The housemade salami, salty and slightly spicy, with peppery arugula, and sweet and acidic tomato conserva all tucked into a soft Italian bread took me back to simple, country meals in Tuscany and Provence. Just a few ingredients, treated with care and respect, can be transformed into a memorable meal.
Oh, I definitely want a pitcher of that lavender lemonade in my fridge all summer long.
I seriously think all vegetables should be served like this. People would always clean their plates.