Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Polenta Section of the Menu

It's the most wonderful time of the year and the busiest. Needless to say with a three month old, I'm not doing the baking extravanza that I normally do. And in a fun twist of events, we actually took a mini-vacation to the coast (just a drive for us)! It's actually a great time of year to do this because it's the off-season and there are great mid-week deals. So, instead of being up to my ears in powdered sugar, we found ourselves in Graton at Willow Wood Restaurant.

As a recommendation from one of the folks at Lynmar Estates, makers of delicious pinor noir in Sebastopol that we sampled earlier in the day, this restaurant did not let us down. With an entire section of the menu dedicated to polenta, how could I not order it? My mom's family is Italian-American and so polenta is a staple. This plate, the "market plate" combined several of my favorites things into one eclectic and tasty dish. It's definitely one of those plates I wouldn't have thought to create but now that I've had it, it seems like something I could easily make at home.

Let's break it down: starting at the lower left you will spy some lovely sauteed spinach with fried coppa and a soft boiled egg. When I was pregnant, soft boiled eggs fell into the "avoid" category so this was a welcome back delicacy that I was happy to once again enjoy. Moving clockwise, you'll see one of the three slices of cambozola toast- where gorgonzola meets a triple cream cheese. Yum! Then of course, the creamy polenta with a roasted tomato. Yum. yum. yum. It was really quite good. Almost worthy of a Julie Andrews-esque song: (to the tune of My Favorite Things) "green sauteed spinach and crispy fried coppa, creamy polenta and roasted tomato, surrounded by toasts topped with stinky, soft cheese- these are a few of my favorite things..."

More foodspiration to come, I promise...also, we heard that the crab season in Bodega Bay is fabulous this year...hmm, perhaps crab on Christmas Eve at our house!