Fresno’s Great Restaurant

Michael and I went to this restaurant:

http://www.echomenu.com

For our first date anniversary this month. This place is down in the Tower District (the hip, well, the hippest part of town) and its menu changes daily. I called the restaurant in the morning, having seen their previous day’s menu, to ask if a particular soup was vegetarian and to make reservations for the evening. I was really trying to scope out if it would be worth it for us to go, as there had been only one veggie entrée the night before, the hand-cut fettucini. So often there’s only one vegetarian thing on the menu, and it’s some uninspired pasta, even at nice places. Handmade pasta would almost certainly be good, but if we both had to get it, that would be kind of a bummer. Well, Tim, who answered the phone (and who turns out to be the chef) said that the cream of shallot soup was vegetarian. He volunteered that they usually have one or two vegetarian things as entrees, and that half of the first courses are always vegetarian.

Well, when we arrived and started looking at the menu, I saw that the soup had changed and that now there were two vegetarian entrees. Not knowing that I had talked to the chef, I asked our server if the new soup was vegetarian. She said, “Yes, the chef made it with the two of you in mind.” When she came back to serve it (I got that, Michael got the goat cheese) she said, “And thank you for calling ahead – because he was altering the usual recipe, he let us try it too – and I expect you’ll really enjoy it.” We did! It was a wonderfully flavorful purple-tinted broth with lots of tender shallots floating in it, plus a scattering of hand-cut croutons topped with slightly toasted cheese.

Our entrees were phenomenal too – Michael’s pasta was certainly the best restaurant pasta I’ve had, and everything in my potato-cake entrée was just stellar. We got three desserts. The bread pudding was substantial and the other two desserts were pleasantly light.

We wrote a nice note on the check, thanking them for their special attention & for keeping us from feeling like second-class diners. Readers, if you come to Fresno to visit us, we may drag you there!

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