From Atkins to Paleo, 7x7 editors are no strangers to fad diets. Having failed at each of them, we've finally found a nutrition regimen that suits our discriminating lifestyle: The Michelin Diet.
For the first installment in our Michelin Diet series (wherein we gorge our way through the Bay Area's Michelin-starred menus to see if they're really all they're hyped up to be), we head to the one-star Restaurant at Farmhouse Inn where four courses of fresh, straight-from-the-farm dishes will set you back $94.
Nestled in Forestville's luxurious Farmhouse Inn—which just unveiled an $8 million dollar renovation and brand new spa this month—the Restaurant was cultivating a farm-to-table lifestyle way before it became trendy. Case in point: warm honey, used in everything from the blueberry pancakes to the ginger spa treatments, comes from bees on owner Joe Bartolomei's property and eggs are plucked daily from on-site chickens.
Dinner was a bounty of such seasonal staples as za’atar roasted squash salad, a tiny helping of veggies that included local heirloom lettuce, apple cider vinaigrette, Amaranth crusted goat cheese, lomo, and pickled squash coulis. My dining partner, who has a reputation for a sizable appetite, looked on in envy over his salad, as I stuffed my face with the genius mixture of Dungeness crab and pork belly hash dish, served with Maitake mushroom, chard, Asian pear, and saffron aioli, that I had chosen as a starter.
My victory was short-lived however, when the grilled octopus with warm saffron-horseradish-lemon potato salad, chorizo, and soft-herb aioli was placed in front of him. Easily the tenderest, most delicious octopus I have ever speared from someone else's plate, I can only assume that the chef must have massaged that creature for hours to achieve such a perfect texture. We also tried Farmhouse's signature dish, Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit (a moniker that strongly reminded me of Looney Tunes, an unsettling thought when you're about to devour Bugs Bunny), consisting of a tasty applewood smoked bacon-wrapped loin, the smallest rack of ribs you've ever seen, confit of leg, perfectly fluffy yukon potato, and topped with a spicy whole grain mustard cream sauce.
But the real winner here? The cranberry souffle. Lord help me, I have not been able to stop talking this dessert for four days, and I wish I had a photograph of my face the moment the waiter rested the fluffy pink cloud in front of me, pierced it with his knife, and poured steamy vanilla bean-blood orange crème anglaise into its warm center. It tasted like a sweet, tart, peice of heaven.