This is a bit pretentious, but…

Great writing and great cooking carry a distinct bond: Every word in every sentence contributes significantly to the whole work, just as every ingredient contributes significantly to the whole meal. Most writing and most cooking is not great. Words are bandied about, tossed in because they elicit a visceral reaction, but add nothing thematically. Ingredients are thrown into a dish because they may be appealing for their individual flavors or visual flare, but do not work well with the other ingredients. 

An example of this great writing is The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. An example of this great cooking is Nicola’s. I recommend trying both as quickly as possible (Unfortunately, Nicola’s is not in everyone’s price range, including ours, though it is less expensive than it could be, so this is probably a special occasion restaurant. The Bridge of San Luis Rey can be purchased for $2 at a used book store.).

The wife and I got the Four Course Tasting Menu with wine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscan  Fava beans with pecorino fresco, fried croutons, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

Sauvignon blanc San Pietro, Alto Adige 2006

Crispy potato Gnocchi with four cheeses fondue and Italian Truffle shavings

Barbera d’Asti Montaribaldi, Piemonte 2005

6 hours braised American Kobe beef short ribs with parsnip puree and spring vegetables

Chianti classico Le Cinciole, Toscana 2004

Dessert

Moscato di Asti La Spinetta 2006

Every course was a beautiful blend of textures and consistencies and flavors. Every ingredient works really well together, and every course was at its best when every ingredient was eaten together. Despite all of this, the food is very simple and unpretentious. If I had to pick out problems, I would say that the short ribs were cooked perfectly, but were underseasoned, and that the creme brulee component of the dessert was not fully congealed. The problems were minor. These elements were merely good as compared to the greatness of everything else. There are no more words that need be said.

My score…91

 

 

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