Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
On a recent trip to NYC to attend a Yankee's game with my dad, we jetted over to Lupa for a late lunch. Dad and I have been long time (okay perhaps semi-addicted) Food Network junkies. Over the years, we have gained appreciation for certain celebrity chefs and have had the privilege of visiting a few of their restaurants. We have visited Emeril's (fish house in Vegas), Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Vegas and Emeril's Delmonico's Steakhouse in Vegas. This time we visited Lupa, one of the many restaurants Mario Batali is a owner of and Lupa's focus is Roman cuisine, served familia-style. Located in the "Village" (Greenwich Village, for those who aren't so hip to the NYC lingo), Lupa is a small restaurant fitted with heavy wooden tables and a beautiful bar encased with blood red bricks. The menu offers a nice selection of antipasto, salads, soups, pasta courses and main courses including steaks, fish of the day, veal, chicken and pork.
One thing my dad and I noticed throughout all the dishes was attention to the simplicity of the flavors - the chef really let the ingredients speak for themselves. It was almost as if, they were restraining themselves from "showing off". Often Italian restaurants attempt to satisfy diners with exuberant, complex sauces and it was a pleasant surprise to enjoy not only the simplicity of the sauces but the divinity of homemade pastas.
Of course, then there was the dessert menu. Repeatedly, we saw the same dessert coming out of the kitchen, Lupa Tartufo (truffle). Dad ordered that one and I ordered the Black Pepper Panna Cotta with Stone Fruit. Now here's the catch, now I know why everyone in that stinkin' restaurant ordered the huge chocolate truffle sitting on a warm chocolate sauce, because it was so delicious and yet wasn't overwhemlingly rich. Inside its shell, there was ice cream, hazelnuts, truffle and cherries. You should probably wipe your mouth right about now. The panna cotta was creamy and spicy, very refreshing. Lupa was a real treat, I look forward to visiting some of the other restaurants Batali is affiliated with....one day.
Friday, September 5, 2008
So I am settling back in my Midwest habitat after a relaxing and enjoyable week's vacation visiting my mom and stepdad in Whidbey Island, Washington. We visited two wonderful farmer's markets while there and I whipped up a batch of late summer squash soup for my mom. The pics above show some of the lovely produce and flowers available for sale at the markets. We also played with my mom's puppies, Vallyn and Trey, and I learned how to sew! I made two pillows!!! We also painted ceramics, saw Mamma Mia, went to flea markets, toodled around Queen Anne's district and Ballard in Seattle, oh what fun! Of course, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and Getrude Armstrong Cake for my stepdad. It was a wonderful time and I wish I lived closer to my mom, she's a joy to be around. My boyfriend caught a sinus infection, so last night I made some matzo ball soup for him, it was comforting and soothing, a sign of the cooler weather and heartier meals to come as fall beckons.