I don't leave my hermit cave often but when dear pal Carrie Brown of Jimtown Store emailed and told me that a lot of my old gang were meeting for dinner at Della Fattoria, I couldn't say no.
Della Fattoria must be my favorite bakery here in the Bay Area and the fact that we're all from the North Bay makes me extra proud. Ed and Kathleen and their kids have been producing excellent bread from wood-fired ovens and their small restaurant has been making waves ever since it opened. Rancho Gordo beans have had a prominent place since the beginning, first under chef Kay Baumhefner and now with la famiglia Weber.
Thanks to Carrie Brown for the photo.
Twelve of us arrived in beautiful Petaluma and no one went away hungry. Beans were on the menu first as a starter of bruschetta and later as part of a bean stew that was inspired by Santa Maria barbecues but frankly was even better than the inspiration.
While eating the bean toasts, Carrie leaned in to me and quite innocently, but clearly, said, "There's are better than the ones in your book!" She was right.
I'm going to bug Kathleen to give me the Santa Maria recipe later.
The only problem with Della Fattoria is the way people pronounce the name. I grew up with an Italian version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, called Nella Vecchia Fattoria, so I know you say FAT-oh-ree-ah, not fat-TORE-EE-YA. And while I'm being pedantic, it's Brew-sket-ah, not brew-shet-ah. "CH" in Italian is a hard sound. My old Italian teacher used to scream, The cello is in the orchestra! The cello is in the orchestra to demonstrate CH and CE. Thank you for your very kind attention.