We Confess: Grapes On a Plate Seduced Us
Dessert is a meal's final punctuation. Not surprisingly, Bay Area chefs tend to take a simple approach, devising the single perfect period to bring things to a close ― the exquisitely ripe peach or pear served on a plate at Chez Panisse has become infamous. Fruit can be sliced, but even that is considered messing with perfection. A few years ago, San Francisco icon Zuni Cafe got a lot of attention for serving an $8 nectarine. Alone. On a plate.
Carina Ost Bronx grapes at Camino. All they needed? A shirtless man.
We weren't sure where we stood on the $8 nectarine, but a recent trip to Oakland restaurant Camino put us in fruit's corner. After a delicious multicourse meal, it was the Bronx grapes from Lagier Ranches that hit the spot. The $4 dessert with nothing more than grapes on a dish, and it was perfect. We imagined what a wine made from them would taste like. We felt the perfect snap of skin on our tongue ― it elicited scandalous thoughts (as all good desserts should). Taste and complexity: It was all there. The only thing missing was the shirtless man to peel them and feed us, fanning us with palm fronds.