Despite it being a pretty damn warm day, when I saw these little petit toasts at the Bowl, I immediately thought: French Onion Soup.

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Despite the lack of a convivially cool, gloomy day to match the heat of the dish, I felt like cooking onions down to a nice, caramelized mass to create a decent base for the soup. I would love to have the time to make an appropriately rich, layered beef broth that simmered all day long but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards.

Consequently, I simply used a liter of low-sodium, organic beef broth vaguely accentuated with some cooking sherry and thyme, salt and pepper. Three minutes under the broiler and the gruyere melted on the petit toasts nicely and was served nearly piping hot.

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But there was caprese salad, as well. Fresh mozzarella from Belfiore in Berkeley, fresh basil, local heirloom tomatoes, and a vinaigrette of EVOO and balsamic vinegar, the vinegar heated and reduced down with honey to a slightly gooey reduction. Add some fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper and voila, baby.

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In deference to the sparking-hot weather outside, it called for a cool cocktail to wash it down with, so once more, a refreshing Pisco Sour was on the agenda.

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Maa-aan. I’m starting to really like cocktails. Fortunately, it’s too inconvenient to make more than two at a time so the chances of getting sloshed at dinner time are reduced significantly. And that’s a good thing, considering the calories.

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