Table 128 in Anderson Valley
Not quite sure if this belongs here exactly. I consider Anderson Valley kind of the far north bay area, and lots of BA people go there to visit. BTW Anderson Valley is a wonderful weekend escape. Bucolic, laid back and open. Last weekend we visited a friend in Anderson Valley and had dinner at Table 128, a new restaurant at the Boonville hotel. It was overall very good to excellent. The atmosphere was very laid back and the service friendly. It was price fix meal.
Here is what we ate:
fresh pea & mint soup-was served with chive blossoms which added a nice bit of texture and flavor. Overall very good, though it was difficult to discern a pea flavor.
mezze plate of hummus, piquillo peppers, feta, poppudoms & olives. This course was good to just ok and seemed like it was kind of thrown together. Eggplant was just ok. The
poppudoms were great and the hummus was very good. Having fewer things on the plate but more of them might have been better. For example if they ditched the peppers, feta and olives and included a saganaki instead.
liberty duck legs with ramps, olives, preserved lemon on isreali cous cous. Excellent. The duck legs were falling of the bone tender and the seasoning was perfect.
honey ice cream with rhubarb & kumquat compote. The ice cream just blew me away. The hostess said it was made in house. It tasted like it was made with very high quality milk and cream. I don’t remember ever having ice cream with such a delicious intense rich milk flavor. One of the best desserts in recent memory.
Ridge, "Table 128" is just the latest name for the dining room at the Boonville Hotel, same guy's still in charge and doing much of the cooking. In the 18(?) years I've been occasionally stopping there, enjoying humble but delicious meals, the dining room has experimented with geography, menu formats, days open, and now, a name.
I recently had, there, one of the best dinners of recent memory. An ordinary-enough sounding "Nicoise salad" had seared albacore tuna, sweet peppers, wonderfully fresh flavorful fava beans, and watercress, with quarters of delicate hard-cooked egg ("we got them from some chickens down the block") and a slightly mustardy aioli sauce. The thing is, you can't sense just from the description how simple and yet intensely farm-fresh everything was. After it came an individual round "lasagna" of asparagus, shiitakes, leeks, reggiano, and handmade noodles, interspersed with Béchamel sauce. A little rich, but mazing. Everybody seemed to think so. I stretched it out, and sampled some good red wine with it. Will try to make something like that at home, since I like to cook with fresh noodles. (I'm writing this while staying at the hotel; the town seems to _finally_ have good wireless access.)
14040 Highway 128, Boonville, CA 95415
I forgot to mention the appetizer, a delicate jellied pork much like the "jambon persillade" they serve in Burgundy (but without much parsley), tasting of roast drippings and maybe balsamic vinegar or a little wine, I think; and the bittersweet chocolate torte served with just slightly sweetened whipped cream. That meal was prix-fixe, $40 if I remember. It had a quality level that would do well in a competitive restaurant scene, and here it was at a small-town roadhouse.
Next evening was a different menu, and began with pork rillettes served with toasted French-bread croûtes. Johnny Schmitt (who was cooking both nights) said it was a local pig, and the two pork appetizers were made within a couple days of the oink.