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Friday, May 21, 2010

East Bay Is Where It's At!

After a great day in the East Bay, what better way to celebrate, then to go to Pizzaiolo at 5008 Telegraph in Oakland.  Did you know they are celebrating their 5 year anniversary in June?  I'll be there for sure.  Last night I brought my new friend John, whom I have been palling around all week with, to this incredible place. And we had an outstanding meal.

I started drinking this tequila cocktail and John had some housemade lemonade when Charlie, the chef, brought out his Trippa all Fiorentina as his gift to us. It took us a few rounds of bread to soak up every single drop of this dish.  It was powerful, distinctive and had Charlie's  signature all over it. The egg blended so well with the chunky pieces of tripe. "I love tripe!"

And since I saw him up there,  I steered towards the Monterey Bay sand dabs in saor from the wood oven with pinenuts and currants.  I knew Charlie's hands would be all over this.  And when it arrived, I looked at John and he looked up at me and said, "Oh my god, this dish is amazing."  It was soft and delicate and literally fell off the bones as John dished it out to me.  It was absolutely exquisite.

By this time I had moved to beer, Racer 5, of course.  And the Braised Becker Lain pork with polenta, asparagus, baby artichokes and breadcrumb salsa verde came out.  The shoulder had so much flavor.  That bread crumb salsa verde was so good, I was eating crumbs of it off the table, as not to go to waste.  I opted up the extra sphere of asparagus for more meat.  YUM! John was beaming with pleasure and satisfaction.

And we about just fell over when they brought the special pizza of the night out.  It was a Clam Pizza and a tribute to the New Haven coal fire ovens.  Especially Pepe's whose legendary Clam Pie is known around the globe. Well, I never had the privilege of Pepe's as of yet...But this pizza, last night, unbelievable...It's not just the clams, it's the clam juice, the Calabrian Peppers, parsley, onions, garlic and olive oil. Now, didn't that just tickle you to hear?  I'm still tickled pink, wishing I had a piece of it right now, in front of me.  I ordered a Boont Amber on tap to help with my last slice.  I moved through that slice with ease after being a pig the whole meal.  Taking your time with food is very necessary and something I need to learn more. It's just so damn good at Pizzaiolo! ;)

Henry, our server was so gracious and sweet and brought us some sorbet to cleanse our pallets from this extraordinary meal.  We were in utter heaven as we kissed Jen Louise, our beautiful host and dear friend, goodbye. I love the East Bay.

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