My mother says that I was born on a glorious sunny Sunday. I can only imagine that after 9 months of my punching and kicking even a stormy Saturday would have been a relief. So whether I was conditioned as a child to believe that sunny Sundays were my special day or that they are just generally special makes-me-no-never-mind. I like sunny Sundays. Today was no exception. While the tailcoat of winter is still dragging its way through our little burg this sunny day heralded a less body numbing future to be sure.
Breakfast today was going to be a bit more formal and reservations were required. Having slept in until 6, I found that I still had plenty of time to read the news, contribute significantly to the perishment of today’s press pot coffee, while still being able to walk my sweet little pup over 2 miles, with time left over. Again, standing on my doorstep I was pressed again with the question, “What to do?” Since The League of Chefs (LOC) is located in downtown V-Town I opted for a little city hike. I figured that I could park near their café, tour Georgia St to the water, make a handy loop around and, with a light hike, I would handily return to my morning meal.
Off I set with no idea in mind as to what I would see or do. 2 blocks down I strolled on by the old post office which has yet to reopen after our bit of an earthquake years ago, then across the street to SOMA. SOMA is a wonderful art installation that you must take time to see, especially at night. It is a wonderful representation of how the artists, The Flaming Lotus Girls, view the neural activity on our brains. Then on through the Marina Vista Memorial Park where, I am embarrassed to say that I did not know this beforehand, is our own small memorial wall for those Vallejoans who have given their last full measure for their country. Their names are carved on display into black marble plaques and I felt privileged to take a moment of silence to thank them for their service. A bit farther on I happened upon a woman walking her dog and for the next block or so we exchanged pleasantries and good thoughts about this our town.
Parting ways, I headed up hill then down to 300 Virginia where my Sunday Brunch awaited me. The first thing I noticed was the communal seating. It’s hard not to make conversation and new friends when you have to share a long table. I hope, as they continue on in business, that this aspect does not change.
First up: Coffee! These ladies, Nicole Hodge and chef Lisa Lees, knocked this one out of the park by serving Vallejo’s own Moschetti coffee. If you have not taken the opportunity to stop in at Moschetti’s Saturday coffee tasting event, shame on you. I will just leave it at that. The pleasant woman who served me was kind enough to pre-warm my cup before serving this rich full bodied brew. There is little that puts me off more than hot coffee served in an ice cold cup. That first sip told me this was the right place to be.
I am compelled to tell you, gentle reader, that these two ladies do not mess around. Brunch today was served in three courses plus an Amuse Bouche. Never let it be said that I would pass up an opportunity at having my Bouche Amused, and delightfully it was. In a signature approach to soup service, LOC shared a demitasse of a chilled Spring Pea and Asparagus soup. Yum! This dish was prepared with such technical precision that I had to stop myself from my normal ‘Quick Scarf’ to slowly enjoy the thought and care that went into balancing flavors and texture. A very strong start indeed.
First course was a Minted Mascarpone Blintz. It was lovely, with bits of citrus, citrus syrup and the requisite powdered sugar. Now I have made hundreds of crepe before. It is not hard nor is it simple. The making of crepe requires patience and skill. This crepe was delightful, tasty and with just the right toothsome texture. Well done I say. The filling was lightly sweetened, if at all, and seemed to me to just be a blend of mascarpone and fresh mint. Fans of LOC do not hate me when I say that this one dish I found to be, a single note. Compared to the complex blend of flavors found in the soup shooter I was a little surprised.
But worry not, The Eggs Blackstone brought back my faith with full force. The egg, perfectly poached. The hollandaise, light and delicious. The ham, oh the ham. Dear God ladies, where did you get that ham? Combined that all with a lovely slice of roasted yellow heirloom tomato and you got breakfast. Embarrassed to say, am I, that I barely took a breath between bites. Double yum.
Another signature dish finished the volley for course three. The Oh-So-Chocolatey pot de crème. Rich and creamy with a hint of roasted coffee. On top was a light covering of what seemed to me to be Oreo cookie crust crumbles giving a pleasing crunch to the ultra-smooth texture. While the pot de crème is one of my most favorite-est desserts, I was unable to completely finish it. So rich, oh so rich. Ladies if you ever sold that dish To-Go, served in a hard chocolate shell cup, I would buy the first dozen.
My advice: Keep an eye on the League of Chefs as they work diligently to open their first café. If you have not taken time to enjoy one of their pop up meals, do so. You will not be disappointed. In fact, I am told that there next event will be Paris in Spring | Pop Up Dinner on May 11th. Click here for more information and reservations. I have my seats reserved and hope to see you all there.
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Until next time,
Eat Well and Smile Often