Sunday, March 08, 2009

We could serve monkey ass in empty clam shell

This yoga pants life is weird. I've only been out of work a week but it feels like months. I can't tell if this is depression or boredom. The only thing that could get me out was going to...FABIO'S restaurant. Yes, THE Fabio of Top Chef. My good friends and I are obsessed fans of the show, and him, so what's a little jaunt to Moorpark, right? Er...

Do you know where Moorpark is? Far. So far that people who live in the Valley are like DAMN THAT'S FAR. It took an hour+ to get out there and it looked like what you would expect - mini malls, box stores, and chain restaurants as far as the eye could see - aka, my nightmare. In the middle of it all was Cafe Firenze. Hm. I was skeptical.

We walked in, it was a Saturday night, and man, was the place buzzin'. There was a live band, a full bar, completely packed. It was crowded with people, so much so that you couldn't even walk. The first person we saw when we walked through the door? Fabio himself. He wasn't there for long though, he immediately went into the kitchen and started working the line. I think this made the difference between a so-so experience and a good one.

The food was FANTASTIC. Among us, we ordered squid ink pasta, gnocci with basil pesto sauce, spinach and ricotta dumplings in brown butter and sage, and I had the butternut squash ravioli in brown butter sauce. AMAZING. Everything tasted fresh and flavorful and you could tell that pasta was really homemade. It reminded me of the food when I lived in Italy 20 years (yikes) ago. It was delicious.

The whole night Fabio worked the kitchen, and as we were leaving he was out in the dining area, mobbed by people for pictures and the like. We didn't want to bother him, plus we had to start our one hour drive to get back home to Los Angeles.

As always, whenever you go out with members of the Baking Posse, there were treats to be shared. I took home some hamantaschen and I handed out chocolate chip shortbread hearts. I had made so many sweet things last week, I decided to go with something more subtle and on the plainer side. It went well after that full meal, anyway.

It's weird that we all live close to each other but had to drive an hour away to eat dinner together, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I would totally go back if it wasn't so far away, but we made the most of it, and spent THREE hours eating and talking! I think it was what I needed to get me out of my 'recession depression'. It was a great dinner - the food was excellent and the company was even better.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts recipe, here.

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15 Comments:

Blogger Jodi said...

The only Fabio I know of is hated by birds as much as you hate birds! Sounds like a good time though. I just ate a Lean CuisinĀ® butternut squash ravioli, but I bet yours was much better. Curious what "brown butter" is though.

Sunday, March 08, 2009 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Sizzle said...

Fabio was my favorite and I'm so glad he won the $10,000 for fan favorite.

Sunday, March 08, 2009 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Daily Randi said...

Okay. Those Shortbread Cookies were Seriously Delicious. TAH and I fought over The Last One. I let him have it in an effort to Save Our Marriage. Except that I told him if I let him Eat It, I may consider running off with Fabio and His Butternut Squash Ravioli. I don't know where that Leaves Us.

xoxo,
TDR

Sunday, March 08, 2009 7:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

That's fantastic that he was there and you got to see him. I often wonder how often the chefs are in house. I usually ask and they're usually overseas!

Sunday, March 08, 2009 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Where did you get that Alice plate? It's gorgeous!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009 9:00:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I ate the last shortbread in retaliation for not getting the last hamentashen. Either way, I was able to keep enjoying good food long after Saturday night. Well, okay, those treats lasted in our household only a few hours...

Monday, March 09, 2009 6:53:00 AM  
Blogger Yum-e said...

I couldn't wait to read your post about Fabio once you told me you blogged about it. Dude - we clicked on the his restaurant link and it's FAAAAR. But I so wanna go after your review. All that mention of butternut squash, brown butter and sage - you got me there! And you are very lucky to have such adventurous foodie friends! They're awesome, I already printed out recipes from their sites!

Monday, March 09, 2009 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

A) Yoga pants life. LOL

B) My husband may have gotten near teary that you called our lunch "so-so." Although it was...I think dinner is a better way to go.

C) Glad you had a good time!

Monday, March 09, 2009 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger Lilcee said...

I would have loved to see Fabio talk in his accent about monkey's ass. Well, ok not really but just about anything. Lucky that you caught sight of him.

I'm still debating whether i can sit for an hr in a car just to dine at his place.

Monday, March 09, 2009 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Also...

D) I have a matching Alice teacup and saucer.

p.s. how amazing is this??
http://www.threadless.com/product/543/This_is_not_a_Pipe

Monday, March 09, 2009 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous kat said...

a local dj here used to say rat guts on a cracker but I'm sure it means the same thing.

I made squid ink pasta once and while my son & I ate it, we didn't really like it. very squid-y. too sqid-y for us.

Monday, March 09, 2009 2:10:00 PM  
Anonymous kat said...

Suzanne:

http://www.fishseddy.com/

Monday, March 09, 2009 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger justJENN said...

Suzanne,
I got the plate from Fishs Eddy in New York. They have great plates, and that one in particular is a butter plate, but nice for small cookies.

Sarah,
The only reason I said it was so-so was because Nanette said it wasn't really worth the drive and it looked pretty barren in that pic you guys took. We had a totally different experience though. It was a packed house!

Monday, March 09, 2009 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Yeah *I* knew what you meant. The hub is sensitive. I married a woman, what can I say.

Yes!! It was dead in there. No energy. And our waiter interupted our conversation like 8 times!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Moris said...

What exactly you're writing is a horrible mistake.
play games

Monday, March 05, 2012 11:10:00 AM  

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