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Rover’s Again

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Last Sunday, I promised a report on our lunch two days earlier at Rover’s. Here it is.

Rover’s, as I have mentioned on many an occasion, is the fine French restaurant just a mile from our house. It serves lunch on Fridays only. We last had one of their Friday lunches three months ago to celebrate Russ’s birthday. I was otherwise engaged for the following eleven Fridays, but not last Friday. Hence, off we went — Gail, Joel, and me — to celebrate the end of the fall semester (for Joel) and fall quarter (for me, except for grading).

We sat in our favorite location, a corner four-top. Gail ordered a glass of their sparkling rosé, as she typically does and I followed suit. We were uncertain what fish “loup de mer” (“sea wolf”) was, and learned it’s sea bass. After a little more study and reflection, we were ready to order. (You can see the lunch menu here. It changes regularly, especially in the small details of accompaniments, but it looks pretty much like our menu a week ago.)

To start, Joel and I had the spiced carrot potage with sage crème while Gail took the seared scallop with squash, mushrooms, and seafood nage. I love Rover’s soups. Last week was no different. Gail’s dish looked beautiful. She reported that indeed it was.

For the main dish, we went our separate ways. I took the loop de mer, accompanied by quinoa, baby spinach, and … well, the menu says lemon grass sauce or, but that’s not how I remember it. The fish was sliced thin and lightly grilled. Perfect. The quinoa was flavorful, the spinach a delight. Gail had Pacific sole with Parisian cheese dumplings, leeks, and sherry vinegar. Boy it looked good. Joel got a taste of her cheese dumplings, which she raved about. And Joel had the roasted guinea fowl, served with black lentil, Brussels sprout, and thyme sauce, another winner.

I had been in touch earlier this month with Rover’s events person about a possible special dinner there next year. We agreed to chat further on our visit, and she appeared as we awaited dessert. Talk turned to wine options, leading to an impromptu wine tasting hosted by Rover’s wine manager, Scot. We tasted a white wine, then some reds: first a Bordeaux, then a California wine, then back to France for a wine from the Rhone.

Somewhere along the way, dessert arrived. We all chose the clafoutis. It is served as two pieces, a larger one topped with kumquat compote and a smaller one with chantilly crème. And it’s superb. As were the wines, though Gail was less a fan of the Bordeaux than I was. Two hours after arrival, we headed out, sated and happy.

Once again, my Fridays will be tied up for a while. But Rover’s does serve dinner. And there’s that event we were discussing. We’ll be back before the next open lunch date.

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Categories: Restaurants
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