Thursday, April 2, 2009

oh, i still ♥ fabio, even if he ignored our table

so, even though i've been remiss in blogging about my love for top chef, it is no secret that i ♥ project runway and top chef. it is no stretch when i love to cook...and those two shows remind me of art school, that they are the perfect reality show equation. of course, i don't have a tv, so i have to hunt it down and find where it has been illegally posted on sites like youtube. tricky wicky, i know. well, last week we got to hang out with our friends jeff and jenny, who also love top chef. we happened to adore the top chef contestant fabio, much like most of america. (who can resist his pithy sound bites and swoony italian accent? not i.) jeff had tried to get us reservations at fabio's southern california restaurant, but they were booked for 8-10 weeks. jeff decided to email the restaurant in the hopes that fabio would read it and hook us up with a table. so guess who calls jeff! yes, fabio himself (or a really good impersonator, which is entirely possible & would be a brilliant business move...)! jeff had told fabio that we had had a difficult year, and that as parents of babies, we'd love a night out. suddenly we had a dinner reservation! we were soooo excited.the restaurant is in this random strip mall in moorpark, next to a baskin robbins. but there is a cute vespa parked outside, to transport you to florence. one vespa doesn't quite do the trick when you are staring at a large nondescript parking lot, but it's a nice touch. we waited for a while for our table, while all the moorpark singletons mingled and tossed their highlighted locks. it was pretty much the scene, apparently; at least if you counted all the single ladies showing off their manicured fingers, glossy lips, and come hither glances. 
finally we got to sit at our table...
we spotted fabio, 
and his lookalike (who works there too) once we got inside.
jeff & jenny, who are wholly responsible for us getting to eat at cafe firenze.
we started out with a super delish caprese salad. 
they put a slice of parmagiano in between the basil, mozarella, and tomato; 
unexpected and super good. 
we also had a kind of standard green salad with poached pears, 
carmelized walnuts, & blue cheese. 
lamb shank & gorgonzola gnocchi with sauteed mushrooms. 
the gnocchi were little pillows of love. 
they were perfection. oh my deliciousness.
 i dream of these now on a nightly basis.
jeff brought along some veeeeery nice bottles of vino.
yay for good food and good friends!
grilled sausages over mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies. jenny picked this yummy number.
behold the power of the best ravioli i have ever experienced in my life.
butternut squash & ricotta ravioli in a sage & cream sauce. 
seriously, i would drive to moorpark just for these - 
they were sweet, savory, amazing.
for all of you meat lovers, a close-up of the lamb shank situation. 
(sporting a limb of rosemary as garnish)
this was my least favorite of the evening; 
it was ok, but not quite as epic as the other entrees: 
pasta with pancetta & some sort of sauteed greens. 
eh, i was happy with the ravioli and gnocchi, but this was just so-so.
so, we caught glimpses of fabio schmoozing it up at other tables, 
but by the time we were done eating and wanting to say hello, 
he had supposedly headed home for the night. 
oh well, we had fun chatting with each other.
a toast to friends, and to discovering new restaurants thanks to reality tv.
how do you top such a great meal?
not with baskin robbins (although it was our initial plan)...
you sing old hits from the 90's at the top of your lungs all the way home. 
it was just that perfect.

ps. fabio, you missed out!


  1. so crazy...was not expecting to know the jeff in this post! Steve and I know him from working at Ponderosa camp way back when. that was fun to see him and his wife in the picture. he always made us laugh at camp. glad you guys had such a fun night out! I love that fabio called and gave you guys a table. (: Kacie

  2. Another similarity...I love top chef & project runway too...I watch it every week with a friend, you are welcome to join us when the next season rolls around. How wonderful that Fabio could fit you guys in! Bravo!
    The word verification today is rested...maybe it is a sign of the weekend to come!

  3. Jeff was telling us about his lucky experience with Fabio & I am so happy that you guys got a wonderful and deserving adult night out but jealous too! So sad missed you during your visit- hopefully, next time.

  4. oh that's right! i forgot you knew jeff, kacie!

    nicole, are you so excited that project runway FINALLY got the greenlight for this new season? (YAY)

    erica, i know! our time in vta was so brief, and we were sad to miss the 805 hangtime. i'll email you next time we are headed down. :) would love to see you!

  5. voted fan favorite!

  6. I am so thankful for the personal shout out and pictures, but please explain that the numerous pillows on the chairs pushed my tummy forward and out - and thus - my enormous looking figure - i am not kicking my butt at bootcamp to not point out the obvious...

    Kacie! Hello! How are you Steve. Old times, I miss them and you guys.

  7. My g-d the food looks amazing and I love your blog!

    Together with the lovely ladies from 3 Bay B Chicks we created a Facebook group to start a San Francisco blogging network. As your blog is so amazing and creative we would love for you to join.

  8. I read this and was very happy the food was tasty!!! You guys definitely deserved this great treat!

    Maybe you will get to see Fabio next time. Doesn't your friend have his phone number now? Invite him to Book Club!!

    ps: good to be able to read your blog again after being a castaway!

  9. i loved reading this one! probs cuz i love the shows - both of them, but mostly top chef. and fabio was definitely my favorite the entire season. stefan was a better chef indeed, but a total D. fabio = hysterically entertaining. and now i'll leave you with my favorite quote from him:

    "But I'm a chef. There's nothing that can stress me out. If they gonna give me monkey ass to fill with fried banana, I'll come up with something anyway. It's not a problem."

  10. oh my goodness- yes, lyds that was a great one....but i always loved his too quoted, but too funny, "this is top chef, not top scallop" and "this is top chef, not top pussy"

    i thought stefan redeemed himself a little at the end by being nice to carla in the finale.


Hi friends! This is where you talk back to me. :) Easy peasy: write your comment, then scroll down where it says "comment as" to identify yourself (if you want to just write your name click Name/URL or just click anonymous. xoxoxoxo