I took BART and bus to Chestnut in the City to meet D, R, and E, who had spent the day/afternoon getting ready for the ACC show, in their various roles. They made it to Castagna before I did, b/c D found a parking place really close to the restaurant – probably b/c it was a Thursday, not Friday or Saturday, our usual days for post-show dinners. D found a wine (below) that made the other three choose meat dishes, but I chose the lasagna, labeled “Grand-Mother” recipe. Served with a well-dressed and refreshing salad. It was overpriced at $22, but very tasty. Not sure what it had in it that gave it its inviting flavor (somewhat refreshing to see a menu that doesn’t list everything in the dish, but also disconcerting!). The lasagna was served too hot – burned my mouth a bit on first bite – and one of the meat dishes was too cold. The kitchen needs to get their timing down. But everyone enjoyed the flavors. We were all amused by the sprig of thyme sticking up out of our meals.
The wine was also overpriced, but we didn’t know it at the time. D zeroed in on a wine that we both remembered from having been served in in Germany by a friend: Chateau Citran, an Haut-Medoc. The proprietor (nice guy) said it was only double price or something but we found it later online at K&L for $17. Definitely on our list. We had to wait for at least 15 or 20 minutes for the wine to open up after it was served, but that was ok b/c we were also waiting for the food.
E wanted dessert, and so she and R ordered desserts, and D & I split one – runny chocolate in the middle, don’t recall what it was called. Caramel on the plate was salted IIRC. The white puff was a salted yogurty thing, according to my fellow diners. Mysterious to me! Very good. Overall, we enjoyed our dinner, and it’s a really nice place – friendly, good atmosphere, and good food. Going back for pizza soon, when we start D’s suggested pizza binge again.