Today we welcome another post by C.C., our Culinarily Challenged contributor, as she navigates her naive taste buds through the food mecca that is Northern California.
Some people like to win. Others like to be admired. C.C. likes to be right. And to be right, in C.C.’s world, means to live without regret: Je ne regrette rien. To this end, her credos are: strike while the iron’s hot, live life for the anecdotal value, and don’t say anything behind anybody’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face, unless you’re talking about a botched nose job.
In life, C.C. finds her only regrets are those things she did not do: she didn’t take that job in Milan, she didn’t keep those fabulous Betsey Johnson shoes, and she didn’t order the fudge brownie with sea salt + humphry slocombe mcevoy olive oil ice cream or any of the other desserts at boon eat + drink.
To add insult to self-induced insanity, she earned that dessert. Capping off a weekend in Sonoma celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday, C.C. and Boyfriend rented a kayak and rowed up and down the Russian River. It was a gorgeous, warm September day and the green water flowed lazily. After an hour of paddling, they returned to shore and headed back to the city.
Despite such exertions, C.C. felt mild guilt over her indulgent weekend as she and BF are supposed to be in training for a half-marathon in Big Sur, and even though they ran six miles the day before, she ate a hamburger (on a whole grain bun and dipped in au jus) and split a huge chocolate brownie/cake covered in whipped cream for dessert, all before they even arrived at the party with its grilled pork and marzipan-y cake and champagne.
Thus, C.C. was not feeling that her six-mile run and one-hour row negated the previous day’s feasting. And it was with this guilt and calorie-counting (and probably that morning’s mimosas) in mind that she and BF stopped to eat in Guerneville, and wandered into boon, a stylish bistro that, of course, uses fresh, local, organic ingredients from Sonoma county.
Sharing a big table in which she and BF got to sit side-by-side, they easily settled on splitting the:
chilled organic beet salad, redwood hills chèvre, toasted hazelnuts, fresh mint + citrus vinaigrette
And the radicchio leaves, chèvre, caramelized pears, hazelnuts, champagne vinaigrette with grilled organic chicken. C.C. felt wonderful and guilt-free about all this, especially as boon uses hormone-free, antibiotic-free, sustainably-raised meats.
However, splitting two such salad-y dishes would not appease two hungry rowers, so C.C. had to make a hard choice: dessert or fries. The fries at boon were not just any fries, no, they were hand-cut truffle fries with garlic aioli + house-made ketchup. And truffles, according to the credo, are always right. But then, so is a chocolate fudge brownie; in fact, as far as C.C. and her BF are concerned, when it comes to dessert, chocolate is the ONLY correct choice.
Alas, faced with such a dilemma, C.C. rather uncharacteristically chose the fries. And they were good: handsomely cut, nicely fried, sea salted, and served with mayonnaise and the savory salsa-like ketchup.
There is probably nothing spectacular in any of this, other than the fact that everything was of the best quality and at peak freshness, and even more so after being outdoors: the simplicity of boon is deceptively spectacular.
But still C.C. harbors pangs of regret over missing the Humphry Slocombe ice cream, which BF informed her is the ice cream these days, to rival Bi-Rite even. (Not that C.C. has ever tasted Bi-Rite, but she can tell from his hallowed tones that it must be something.) However, C.C. does know that McEvoy olive oil is among her favorite—organic, and producing a slight, ever-so-pleasing burn at the back of one’s throat.
Yes, there is regret for other desserts not eaten: the lavender shortbread cookies, the Humphry Slocombe Tahitian vanilla ice cream concoction with olive oil and “secret breakfast” containing bourbon(!), and although C.C. fears she has missed out, she knows when next up in Guerneville, where find to a seasonal boon and just desserts.