Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Raindrops Keep Falling . . .

Raindrops keep falling on my head….da-da-da-dee-da-da-da-dee-da....

Okay. Enough already. We are on the verge of breaking the record for the total number of rainy days in the month of March. According to Joel Bartlett, Bay Area Weather Anchor, we are into our 22nd rainy day. The record 23 days will be surpassed in a couple of days. We expect more rain through the week. A thunder and lightning storm is threatening to arrive early evening. The upside is that the Sun should peek out and stay awhile over the weekend.

We’ve been working diligently on producing Ander’s new press kit for distribution to the art world. When cabin fever hits, we venture out in search of a mini-escape from the phones, Fax and emails.

Coastal Islands, Oil on Canvas, 16" x 20", ©ander.

One place we enjoy is a short trip south of us to the town of Petaluma. We find ourselves transported to a quaint Parisian-like café by the name of Della Fattoria (I know it sounds more Italian, but believe me, the atmosphere is pure Paris, all the way). There is a banquette along the windows with soft cushions for added comfort. The windows are dressed with stylish, striped, sheered sections of drapery that are knotted at the bottom to weigh down the willowy panes.

A simple snack . . .

There is a communal farm table in the center of the place surrounded by a mélange of wooden benches and chairs. It is inviting and beckons you to share in the conversation at the table. Two or three other tables fill the room for a more intimate tête-à-tête.

We order the signature polenta cake to accompany our café-au-laite. Of course, Ander gets his standard “Americano” and shares a bite or two. The polenta cake is a 5-inch disc of pure flavor. Along with the corn element, there is a subtle hint of almond (from either extract or almond meal) and a touch of vanilla essence in each bite. It is neither too moist nor too dry. Not too sweet. Just right. There was enough cake. (Although, if I served this at home, I’d add seasonal fruit to kick it up a notch. I’m thinking, wild blackberries for a summer picnic dessert.)

Polenta Cake . . .

Good to the last crumb . . .

The Barista is proficient and adds his charm to each demitasse of espresso. The cheerful, young lady at the counter sings along with the sultry sound of the jazz singer piped in on their stereo system. The rendition of “Pennies From Heaven” was indeed toe tapping and enthralling.

Au-laite . . .

I enjoy the tableware and accoutrements for serving. They use quaint “au laite” bowls to serve both the café and soothing “soup du jour”. This particular day a local patron asks what the “green” vegetable included in the soup called? The server responds, “I’m not sure. I know it starts with an ‘L’.”

Patron: “Is it a leek?”
Server: “No. That’s not it. Wait here, I’ll ask in back.”

The server jaunts back to the Patron’s table with an enthusiastic “It’s LA-CIN-ATO kale.”

The Patron responds with a spoonful in her mouth, lips curved up and a nod of thanks.

Nothing Better . . .

They also sell a variety of their fresh baked breads and offer savory specials listed on the Bistro Board.

We like it here. Can you keep it a secret?

Della Fattoria Downtown
141 Petaluma Boulevard North
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone: 707-763-0161


Blogger Kim said...

Hi Anni,
Thanks so much for your sweet note on my site ... I'm so new to this blog thing and have no idea how to reply, so thought I'd try this. I'm having a terrific time exploring food blogs, and am glad to add yours to my list. Della Fattoria sounds terrific. And I'd love to learn more about your fig confiture ...
Take care, Kim

6:44 PM, April 16, 2006  

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