Culinary Heartbreak: The Loss of Echo

Rabbit5 I don’t take the Bee at home, so it wasn’t until today, when I picked up the Life section in the breakroom at work that I saw the terrible, terrible news.

Echo is closing.

Echo is my favorite restaurant in town, and one of my favorites of all time. We can’t afford to go there all the time, but we’ve never regretted any of the money we’ve spent. On our first visit, recounted here, chef Tim Woods made a soup with the two of us in mind. That, needless to say, was the first time that had ever happened to us.

I am not the only one who feels this way; Russ Parsons of the L.A. Times wrote a long and wonderful tribute to the place in September 2004, before the restaurant moved from the three funky blocks of the Tower District to the Piazza de Fiore Center at Champlain and Perrin in the northern part of the city, a move that was rumored, I heard at the time, to be the brainchild of the restaurant’s investors.

I have to say, I never liked the idea of them moving. I hated to see them leave the Tower and join the northward migration/Orange Countification of Fresno. I liked their old space more; I liked being in the Tower and seeing the traffic on the street and sidewalk outside; liked parking on the street myself and walking down the block to the place, loved the murals on the walls and the open kitchen in the back.

As soon as I put the paper down I picked up the phone to make a reservation. I am not ashamed to say that I started to cry. We will be there the night before the last night. We will order everything we can. We will be truly sorry to see the place go.

Edit: lots of emotion and some fur flying in the Fresno Famous fracas on this subject…

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2 Responses to Culinary Heartbreak: The Loss of Echo

  1. michele reynolds says:

    I too will miss Echo Restaurant! My husband and I farm K.M.K. Farm in Kingsburg and Echo was the first restaurant we started selling to (8 years ago.)Over the years Timmy and Adam had become more to us then a business outlet for our sustainably grown produce. Their great food will truly be missed, but we still charish their friendship and miss seeing them once a week from our produce delivery.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Michele, I’m glad to know, if belatedly, of your long relationship with Echo. I’m glad your friendship with them will remain. You’ve certainly hit on what I’ll miss – what made me fall in love with Echo those several months after we moved here was their treatment of produce. I will especially miss the near-magical variations on red onion soup, both the broth and cream types – I never could figure out how they could get so much flavor out of those red onions.

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