Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Shopping

Cranky and I went out for some remedial Christmas, um, remediality. (I ride the short bus. Forgive me.)
Don't tell Cranky (or my mom or my brother or my sister-in-law or my brother-in-law), but they've got some killer panettone for sale at Il Fornaio, one of Northern California's nicer chain Italian restaurants. I did an interview with Il Fornaio's chief baker a few years ago (he was on the American team competing in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris, in 1999 — the year they won!). The Christmasy fruitcake (sorry, that's what it is) is buttery, orangey, dreamy. Smells divine.
So, now there's one in a bag in a closet, awaiting wrapping paper and a temporary park under the tree.
It's not at all clear who is giving this gift to whom. We bought it together, Cranky and I, and then agreed to forget about it for a week.
But in a week, we'll be making toast out of it. Maybe even French toast. (Would the Italians mind?)


Jamie said...

Cookiecrumb: Not afraid to call a fruitcake a fruitcake. :-)

(It looks awesome!)

ilva said...

We're also having a nice, hand-made Panettone for christmas! I'll be thinking about you!

Monkey Gland said...

Made bread and butter pudding with it once it goes a bit stale!

cookiecrumb said...

I like the bread pudding idea! Maybe we'll buy a couple of backups. ('Course, it would be better homemade, eh, Ilva?)

LisaSD said...

CC--Now, why does "fruitcake" sound god-awful, but "panettone" sound great? I think I'm a bit biased towards the Italians. Cuisine-wise, those folks can do no wrong!

Do you receommend Il Fornaio? I've been wanting to go--we have some down here too. Definitely better than Olive Garden, right?
Happy Holidays...I'm going to be offline for a week or so, so didn't want you to think I was ignoring you...Don't suppose you're coming to Esco for Xmas?

cookiecrumb said...

Hi Lisa: Thanks for dropping in, and I already knew you were planning on unblogging for a little while. :D
Il Fornaio is def better than Olive Garden, but it's just not really way up there on my list. Try brunch or lunch first, so you can make up your mind without blowing a whole dinner.
I'm sending my brother to Esco, in my stead! It's his turn.
Merry Christmas. (There, I said it! Even if I made a mistake.)

vanessa said...

i'm a sucker for panettone. and yeah, it's totally fruitcake. but with an italian accent. one market here sells two killer varieties—one with balsamic soaked raisins and one with dried figs and chunks of dark chocolate. i really meant to give them as gifts. but i figured in the end, if i'm celebrating myself, all the better. i'll be in a better mood for everyone else.

french toast with italian fruitcake? go for it.

cookiecrumb said...

Vanessa: Chocolate? Wow.

ilva said...

Would like to point out that I said Hand-made not Home-made! I don't dare to make a Panettone on my own so we order it from a pastry place nearby! I see my own limits...

cookiecrumb said...

Ilva: I did see that you had written "hand-made" but I'm afraid I assumed the best of your baking skills. :)
I'm sure you could do a good one.

b'gina said...

I've never been to Il Fornaio up here, but the one in San Jose and the one in Palo Alto were pretty darn good.

The thing I liked best about them is that they are open to substitutions or additions, one of my chronic bad habits.

They're regional Italian stuff is good, and their bread likewise. The waitstaff seems to be excellent, too, which is important to the overall experience.

Tons better than Olive Garden. Not even in the same ballpark, so to speak. \:+) Could be the difference is the clientele. I imagine Marin County is a lot more laid back that the wheeler dealers in Palo Alto and San Jose.

Once when I was having dinner there, Janet Reno came in with a platoon of buff Secret Service men. I wished I could join her table. \;+)

cookiecrumb said...

Janet Reno!
Yeah, the Marin restaurant is very pretty, yet casual. (Don't tell anyone: They let people bring in well-behaved, tiny dogs in closed carrying cases. And if you sit on the patio, your doggie can come out and sit on a chair.)