There are better ways to honor Julia Child's 100th birthday (born 8/15) than by braving Tu Lan (pictured on their menus, she was a fan of the Vietnamese joint back in cleaner days) or by watching her make the perfect French omelet. Instead, head over to one of these three esteemed Bay Area restaurants with special menus inspired by "The French Chef" and her philosophical work. Check your pretentious foodie notions of what's cool at the door (burritos and burrata are amateur hour, derfwards), and get ready for a well-deserved kick in the aspic. Julia Child* is turning 100, and she's taking names.
From today until the 15th, RN74 will feature a prix fixe menu with Child-inspired items. A four-course dinner runs $39 ($30 for optional wine pairings) and the three-course lunch is $29 ($20 for optional wine pairings). Cold leek and potato soup (vichyssoise), lamb stew with spring vegetables (navarin printanier), and more await. Check out the lunch and dinner menus. An excellent place to say thanks and pay your respects.
Traci Des Jardins' Jardinière will honor Child with a special Monday night prix fixe with Julia-inspired dinner on Monday, August 13. The menu features their usual three courses and three wine pairings for $49. Famous items include Julia's bibb lettuce salad, coq a vin, and chocolate mousse.
Chef Russell Moore of Oakland's Camino will honor the original beurre lover's birthday via a four-course menu that pays homage to some of Child's most iconic dishes. Poulet en gelée à l'estragon avec salade de laitue beurre et tomates (chicken tarragon in aspic with butter lettuce salad and tomatoes), bourride (Ppovencal fish stew with aioli), steak au poivre avec pommes Anna et tomates a la Provencale (classic pepper-crusted steak with tomatoes stuffed with breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs), and Clafouti aux pruneaux (prune clafouti-baked French dessert arranged in a buttered dish and covered in creamy batter).
If you cannot afford to eat out, simply watch videos of Julia working with Jacques Pepin. They're genius together. Julia gives Jacques shit the entire time. He plays a wonderful straight man to her unaffected yet capon-large personality. Exceptional PBS chemistry. OR, if you missed it, watch this brilliant montage of vintage Julia set to "Sweet Child O' Mine," compiled by her home station, WGBH in Boston.
*Julia Child passed away in 2004. We get this. But her work and spirit live on, thus she lives on.