Thursday, August 30, 2007

Farmer and the Cook: Great Music AND Pizza!

Full disclosure: this is cross-posted on another blog, so I guess you could say I've syndicated myself. But I promised readers here last week I would come back with a full report on the pizza at Farmer and the Cook.

Last week Bill and I were looking to mix-up our Friday date-night routine and ended up at Farmer and the Cook. We heard their pizza was unparalleled and had noticed the new patio was attracting quite a crowd on the weekends. Maybe it was the beer and wine license kicking in or the addition of musical entertainment. We didn’t need much of a reason to check it out and I’m so glad we did.

When we arrived, looking somewhat bewildered I’m sure at the gathering scene, Nicole caught us with a friendly smile and a couple of menus and escorted us to a table. She asked our names and told us the food was excellent. Simple gestures like that are usually a sure sign we’re going to have a great evening.

We ordered the Samuel Smith organic beer, imported from England. Bill had the lager, I had the ale. He said his was fantastic. Mine was very drinkable, but a little thin for my taste (but then again I’m a Guinness girl with a fondness for beer with the consistency and color of motor oil). For our app, we had the deep fried squash blossoms with a fantastic pesto dip. And since pizza was our mission, we had the “Artichokie,” with garlic, pesto, and mozzarella. The crust was thin, crisp and puffy, just like you would get in Italy. The flavors were fresh and not over-cooked. Conclusion: this is the best pizza I’ve had and I will stand on Boccali’s picnic table and say so.

We also shared a chocolate dipped macaroon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Perfection!

Throughout our evening we were entertained by Jonathan McEuen and a couple of other singer/songwriters toting acoustic guitars and original material (no copycat covers here). The audience of dressed-down comfortable-shoe hippies didn’t seem to match the cars in the parking lot (lots of SUV’s and a giant Mercedes - not a hybrid in sight). The faces were friendly, inviting and enjoying themselves immensely.

Looks like my Friday date-night spot is going to be Farmer and the Cook!

Tomorrow night, I hear local Fred Schmitt will be bringing his guitar around 7:30. He’s got a great interview, a few songs and an intriguing story on Radio Ojai.

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