My evening at Poggio

The view from my hotel room. I could get used to this....

Hello, Double Chinners! I’m writing to you on my last night in Northern California before heading back to my hot, sunny city to begin working from home. I’ve had a great time up here training for my new job, but one thing I’m ready to get back to is being in my own kitchen preparing my own meals. We get lunch every day at work from local restaurants, but sometimes you just want home cooked meals. Tonight’s meal, however, broke that stride, and I’m now wishing the chef of Poggio could come live in my kitchen.

My brother, his lovely girlfriend Allison and I decided to send off my trip in style with a memorable last meal at Poggio in Sausalito, the restaurant right below the Casa Madrona where I’m spending my last night. Initially I was skeptical because the menu had very courageous sounding italian dishes like “pumpkin walnut ravioli,” but we decided to be adventurous and give it a go. First, they came out with salted rosemary rolls fresh from the oven with pressed sweet cream butter. They were insaaaaaaane. We ordered bocconocini, a hand pulled mozzerella with heirloom tomatoes and castalvetrano olives. It was incredible and we found out that there is an organic garden behind the restaurant where almost all of the vegetables are grown. The bocconocini was served with freshly cracked black pepper and a grassy, tart olive oil.

For my main course I ordered gnudi, spinach ricotta pillows with beef ragu and parmigiano. The gnudi were like savory marshmallows – super soft with a slight spinach taste, the perfect backdrop for the salty but so tender beef ragu.They were basically cheese dumplings with meat – the perfect dinner for this Midwestern, corn-fed girl.

For dessert, I had a vanilla creme brulee with fresh cherries. I believe when I took the first bite, swirled it around on my tongue and allowed myself to really soak it all in, I said “the angels sang.”

We all enjoyed our meal with a bottle of Verdiccio Del Castelli Di Jesi, a slightly sweet wine with an aromatic of peach. It had a lovely perfume and as we took turns drinking and telling stories, it was the perfect drink to lull us through a rich and decadent meal. Tonight was definitely a meal that will set me back on my weight loss goals, but on some strange level, I’m always ok with that if it was enjoyable and worth it. It was wonderful to eat amazing, authentic Italian food with my brother and Allison and to have an awesome last night in the city.

What are your thoughts on decadent, splurge meals when you’re trying to lose weight? I have a lot to celebrate right now with my awesome new job, but I also know part of being serious about losing weight is learning to celebrate in other ways. Thoughts?