Back in the day, 1985 to be exact I used to eat at a charming restaurant called Lisa Hemenway’s in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa, Ca. To this day, her dishes stand out in my mind as she was our local version of Alice Waters. Culinarily speaking, she and her restaurant were ahead of their time. I remember Lisa as a proponent of the’Farm to Table’ movement before I even knew what that was.
It was a treat to go to her restaurant after school and indulge in a Tenderloin of Beef Sandwich with Carmelized Onions and Dijon Mustard. This was my feeble attempt to recreate it, and although I got the main elements correct, it still fell short…
I used left over beef tenderloin that I wished I had shaved with my meat slicer. Onions were carmelized, and a slice of provolone was added as well as watercress. The ciabatta rolls were slathered with a little mayo and grainy dijon mustard. Finally, the sandwiches were toasted on the panini grill just until the cheese was melted.
It was still a darn good sandwich, but it just lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.