Chez Panisse Chef Cal Peternell at Yale

When it was announced that Chef Cal Peternell from Chez Panisse was coming to Yale, I knew I had to go. It was like my two worlds — the Bay Area and Yale — were colliding in one fantastic meal. I had been to Chez Panisse once, on my fifteenth birthday. In addition, I had been to every Guest Chef (or as I commonly call it, “Celebrity Chef”) event hosted by Yale Dining. This was the first chef whose name I actually recognized. And so, even when I was put on the wait list for the event, I hounded the event coordinators to get in. And I did.

Like all of the previous Guest Chef Events, the menu was created by Chef Peternell, but the cooking was conducted by the Yale Dining staff. Some dishes were more stellar than others. Overall, all of the dishes were better than the dining hall food. Some of my eating-mates expressed disappointment, but I left my meal pleased.

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Iceberg lettuce salad.

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Deviled eggs with curry and saffron.

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The roasted butternut squash hummus was excellent. I probably devoured 3/4 of this bowl.

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Chef Peternell spoke, but mostly read from his new book.

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These meatless meatballs were meh.

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The twice-cooked pork with salsa verde was definitely the best main dish. Filling, rich, and good.

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Braised chicken legs.

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The macaroni and cheese was no different from the regular dining hall macaroni and cheese (which is pretty good) save for the oven-baked bread cumb topping.IMG_1093

Pear upside-down cake.

The Pantry

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Earlier this year, when the days were sunny and the leaves were still green, CP and I took a nice, long stroll to The Pantry – one of New Haven’s best and most renowned brunch establishments. We had to wait in line, but the weather was nice and the wait was nothing too extreme. The food was well worth the wait.

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The Pantry is known for their Cinnamon Roll pancakes. If you go to Yale, chances are you’ve seen at least a few Instagram’s of one of The Pantry’s Cinnamon Roll pancakes. The pancakes are huge, delicious, and decadent.

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We also ordered the Eggs Benedict. They were the best Eggs Benedict I have ever had. CP and I both agreed that the Eggs Benedict were, in fact, better than the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

Together, between the pancakes and Eggs Benedict, we had a fantastic meal that was both savory and sweet.

Rating Roìa

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I have always loved my birthday. My birthday meant a party, a dinner, and the focus on me. Unlike most young girls, however, my birthday was never all about me. I share my birthday with my mom. Yes, I was the best birthday gift ever (as, I imagine, was the process of childbirth).

While, yes, this means that the focus was never entirely on me for my own birthday, I couldn’t imagine a birthday without my mom. Therefore, it was incredible to have my mom in New Haven to spend our birthday together. It also provided the perfect opportunity to go to Roia – a New Haven restaurant I have been dying to try.

One of the most respected foodies at Yale once casually told me that Roia was the best restaurant in New Haven. Ever since, Roia has been number one on my list of restaurants to try. I have made multiple reservations and unfortunately had to cancel all of them. But my birthday dinner was an event I would not cancel.

Here’s what we ate:

Chicken Liver Mousse served with grilled bread and red onion marmalade

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Carpaccio di FunghiImage

Pesce Di Giorno (which, on this day, was arctic char)Image

Pappardelle with Hen RaguImage

For dessert: Croustillant de Rhubarb – meringue with poached rhubarb sweetened cream and pistachiosImage

A little treat with the check – petite madeleinesImage

I had very high expectations for Roia. Sadly, Roia did not live up to my standards. It was good, maybe fantastic, but not spectacular. The liver mousse was good – I honestly think Heirloom’s (at The Study) is better. The arctic char was more well-done than I usually like, but this is a personal preference. I am a sucker for handmade pasta (and Roia makes all of their own pasta), but I am also used to the incredible high standards for handmade pasta in San Francisco. The pappardelle was good, but the pasta itself was a bit too thick and chewy for my taste.

Sidenote: I will say, however, that the petite madeleines provided a spectacular moment for me. They were little bites of heaven. Perfectly flavorful, soft, and fluffy. I was reading Proust’s A Remembrance of Things Past at the time, where the entire novel stems from a bite of madeleine that stirs Proust’s memory. They were a perfect way to end our birthday dinner.

Brunch at Heirloom, The Study at Yale

The Study at Yale is the best hotel in New Haven, and is also home to one of the best restaurants in New Haven, Heirloom.

To be clear – I actually had breakfast at Heirloom on this particular day, and not brunch. The breakfast menu is, from my understanding, just a limited version of the brunch menu and is only available for hotel guests.

Brunch at The Study is notorious and notoriously good – never miss an opportunity to be fed at Heirloom, preferably by your parents or your friend’s parents who are visiting.

I’ll stop with the advice.

 

Study at Kale Frittata – Egg Whites, Milled Tomato, Parmigiano & Burrata, Sunflower Seeds & Farm Lettuces

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Heirloom Oatmeal

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Smoked Fish Plate with Smoked Salmon and Trout Spread Combo

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A Respite with Restaurant Week: Ibiza

Last week was New Haven Restaurant Week. I saw the week-long event as an opportunity to try out some of the restaurants in New Haven, where fine dining has blossomed in recent years. On a Wednesday night, I tried Ibiza with a bunch of girl friends. The restaurant is extremely close to campus, and I have passed by Ibiza on many occasions. The restaurant is always crowded late into the night, and I was excited to finally try it.

Dinner was delicious and filling. The menu provided a variety of dishes ranging from those tastefully simple (say mushroom risotto) to those more complex in flavor and concept (the lobster with caramelized endive foam). All in all, the consensus was that the meal was an overwhelmingly positive experience – it was especially nice to taste fresh seafood as opposed to whatever sea-faring animals they serve us in the dining hall.

Here’s what we had:

Ensalada de gamba y aguacate – Grilled shrimp and avocado mixed green salad

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Ensalada de pulpo – Grilled ocotpus salad

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Trio de tapas – Codfish mousse, Boquerón, avocado and cilaniro purée, Grill chorizo sausage and green lentil salad

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Langosta – Steaed Maine lobster off the shell, carmelized endive foam, sautéed oyster and shiitake mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, lobster oil

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Arroz de setas – Mushroom risotto, tetilla cheese, truffle oil

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Raya – grilled skate fish and polenta-cauliflower cake

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Lemon bavaroise with fresh fruit salad

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