I was shocked to learn that a fire broke out at Chez Panisse yesterday (see also: SFGate, Berkeleyside), badly damaging the restaurant’s front porch and facade. Two weeks ago we ate there (for the first time) with Stephanie’s mom Chris, who was visiting from France. The restaurant is named after a character from a trilogy of French movies that the three of us had watched together. We were able to get a Saturday lunch reservation at the Café on short notice, which turned out to be a revelation—it was wonderful to emerge from our three-course meal into the broad daylight with a good part of the day still ahead. The food was impeccable, and it made for a fine conclusion to Chris’ stay.
Afterwards I took a few photos of the restaurant with the Leica. They’re not the greatest, but they capture the place as it existed just two weeks before the fire, which seems important. Here’s to a swift and speedy recovery, Chez Panisse. I look forward to returning.