La Salette - Page 2

Gettin' figgy
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No bowl of restaurant soup would be complete without accents, and here these include rounds of linguica, a scattering of skinned potato chunks, and, over the top, a few squirts of extra-virgin olive oil, whose own green sheen makes a subtle contrast to the soup's opaque silkiness.

While I can accept the rationale for a tuna melt — it is an energetic way of disguising canned tuna's mediocrity — I am not sure it applies to crab, even out-of-season crab. Nonetheless, the restaurant offers a crab melt ($12.95), really a kind of faintly too-sweet crab salad topped by meltings of cheddar cheese. Crab is so naturally sweet that it doesn't need mixing with commercially prepared mayonnaise. In a related, industrial vein, an accompanying side dish of grilled yellow corn ($3.95), served off the cob, was mushy and sweet in a way that did not convince. And in the middle of corn season, no less.

Not all sweetness is a sin, of course, and meantime I am in awe of any kitchen that can make something appealing out of figs, which are also in season. Although figs have their partisans, I am not one of them. To me they are the eggplants of the fruit kingdom: seedy, mealy, and generally difficult to deal with. So I was especially impressed by LaSalette's fig cake ($6.95), a formidable wedge of vanilla ice cream studded with walnuts and cosseted top and bottom by a mild, moist gâteau with bits of fig in it and a faintly figgy flavor — but not too much! One may never learn to love the fig in isolation, but one can accept it in small, well-costumed roles in ensemble performances.*

LA SALETTE

Breakfast: Wed.–Sun., 8:30–11:30 a.m. Brunch: Sun., 11:45 a.m.–3 p.m. Lunch: Mon.–Fri., 11:45 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Sat., 11:45 a.m.–4 p.m. Dinner: Mon.–Sat., 5–9 p.m.; Sun., 3–9 p.m.

452 First St. E., suite H, Sonoma

(707) 938-1927

www.lasalette-restaurant.com

Beer and wine

AE/MC/V

Pleasant noise level

Wheelchair accessible

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