The East Bay’s most famous restaurant and birthplace of California cuisine continues its triple-decades-long passionate love affair with food, with Alice Waters and company wooing fans with ever-changing Provencal-style dishes. Showy, high-concept food art is not the model, though every course is artful and unique. The paradigm is more rustic—what the doyenne of the organic, local, sustainable food movement might prepare for friends based on the season’s bounty or the catch of the day. Our winter visit coincided with Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants’ 35th anniversary and a week of menus from Waters’ foodie heroes, drawing a rare appearance from the grande dame herself. We were treated to the Lulu Peyraud Menu: neat portions of green and black olive tapenade aside sea urchin with bread and butter; a main course of fennel-saffron rich bouillabaisse swimming with monkfish, sea bass and mussels; a butter lettuce salad and three-cheese course; and ice cream with coffee granita and calisson. Kermit Lynchrecommended wine pairings—a slight glitch being that our first course arrived before our wine—made this special occasion even more memorable. In short, Chez Panisse stands up to the hype. Two dinner seatings Mon.Sat.