Berkeley – Poulet revisited
As I’ve said in some of the other posts linked below, I like Poulet. It's not amazing food, but good homey type food ... and that was the case with last night’s dinner...
Chicken, mushrooms, fennel & red wine sauce with pappardelle
The smell of the boozy, wine-soaked mushrooms perfumed the store and my car on the way home. The chicken fell off the bone, some pieces darkly stained with wine. It was oily-good and I sopped up the last piece of mushroom sauce with the slice of sourdough bread that comes with the dinner.
More important to me was the baked goods. Poulet serves the type of chow you get at the deli at Berkeley Bowl or Andronico’s ... just a little bit better and easier to get to ... it is a quick step in and out of the shop.
However, I HAVE had amazing baked goods there this summer so I asked if Shuna made the baked goods yesterday. She did.
The caramel bread pudding was very good rich, eggy and full of vanilla with a layer of caramel on a lovely browned top. I can’t say if this is good bread pudding or not since it is perhaps my least favorite dessert due to a horrible version I had once that still makes me reluctant to order it. I enjoyed it however.
My own advice at Poulet is the same as any deli, if it looks tired or dry, it probably is, so buy something else ... or Andronico’s is right across the street. Sometimes Poulet’s roasted veggies look tired and sometimes like yesterday, just made, they looked great ... and the staff chopping up huge pieces of bright orange winter squash added to the visual appeal.
As much as I like the adobo chicken, it didn’t look great yesterday, so I wouldn’t have ordered it. Hot chickens are available at 11 am and 4 pm. The farther away from that time ... well, it’s no different than that supermarket rotisserie chicken that’s been sitting there for a few hours.
Most of the desserts I’ve had since Shuna has been baking were outrageously good, a few were only ok ... but here too the same rule applies ... get what looks best. I don’t like cornmeal-based desserts, yet on one visit the one that looked amazing turned out to be just that. Last night the bread pudding looked the best. The cupcakes that were disappointing to someone else, didn’t look so hot to me so I passed. As at any deli, if you go in at closing, your selection is what every other customer passed on that day.
Previous Poulet posts: