Lidia’s Table

Lidia Bastianich is one of my favorite chefs. I have several of her cookbooks and use them often. We recently visited her Del Posto in New York. She is co-owner with a group including her son Joe and Mario BataliIt features products from Lidia’s homeland, the northeastern region of Italy bordering Slovenia. Here is what we selected from a tasting menu with wine pairings.

Tutti a tavola a mangiare:

Vitello Tonnato~ Veal with creamy tuna sauce, olive crostone, capers, lime cells and lemon basil w/ Marcarini Roero Arneis 2013 Piemonte

Lobster alla Cesare~ Grilled romaine, pane grattato, sweet & sour onions w/ Franz Gojer Kerner 2013 Alto Adige

Spaghetti Dungeness Crab~ Sliced jalapeño, minced scallion w/ Bastianich Refosco 2012 Friuli

Orecchiette Lamb Neck Ragù~ Orange carrots, toasted rye w/ Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso “a Rina” 2012 Sicilia

Broiled Veal Chop alla Rossini~ Foraged mushrooms, braised red endive w/ Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Martinenga” 2008 Piemonte

Baked Striped Bass Scorzonera~ Chicories, fumetto al tartufo w/ Edi Simcic Chardonnay 2010 Slovenia

Livorno Style Cacciucco~ Seafood stew, garlic bread crostini, kelp cured cod w/ San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2012 Toscana

Desserts:

Pecorino Romano Cake~ Honey gelato, roasted pears
Browned Butter Panna Cotta~ Greenmarket apples, pasta frolla
Sfera di Caprino~ Celery sorbetto, fig agrodolce

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Folie en Food NY

photo-66MadisonPark Onze it. Quatorze-course tasting adventure. Pricey. Priceless.

Eleven Madison Park Menu, March 2014:

~Savory black and white cookie
Chartogne-Taillet Brut Rosé, Merfy Champagne, France

~Oyster Vichyssoise and caviar
~Marinated Scallop with apple, lime, and water chestnut

~Beef tartare with caviar and smoked bone marrow
~Pastrami with pickles, rye, mustard, and cranberry
Bellwether Legacy Brut Cider, Trumansberg, NY

~Cured Foie Gras with sunchokes and fermented mustard greens
Domaine Weinbach Pinot Blanc Reserve, Alsace, France

~Waldorf salad with celery, cranberries and walnuts
Domaine de Belliviere Loire Valley, France

~Poached lobster with razor clam, sea urchin and kale
Isabelle et Denis Pommier, Premier Cru Chablis, France

~Braised celery root with black truffle
ça del Baio Barbaresco Piedmont, Italy

~Duck broth with sausage and Gruyère
~Roasted duck with lavender, honey, rutabaga
Domaine Monier Perreol, Rhone Valley, France

~Various desserts. Chocolate pretzels. Cookies. Baked Alaska

Then, the next day:

Grilled lobster lunch with friends at ABC Kitchen. Specially good.
Roasted octopus, striped bass downtown at Colicchio and Sons. Delectable.

Memories of a Mad March Birthday Weekend. Indelible. Folie en food!

Sliced Cauliflower Sauté

Forget the florets. Sliced is a great sauté. New York fave Gramercy Tavern’s halibut is good, but this side dish was better.

Cut the cauliflower into 1/2″ slices, with some of the stem included. In a large skillet, brown the slices in a little olive oil, so that none are touching. Sprinkle with garlic powder, ground black pepper, thyme as they cook. Turn when golden brown on one side and brown the other. Crispy on the outside, tender and sweet on the inside. Simple and so good.

NYTimes agrees. 9/14

Best Dining 2013

New York City

Gramercy TavernFlatiron, best of best $$$$
Da Silvano, West Village, classic Italian $$$$
Lure FishbarSoHo, consistently good $$$
Next Door NobuTribeca, best fish  $$$$
MaysvilleFlatiron, interesting creative  $$$
Union Square CafeUnion Square, high standards met $$$$
La Mar CebicheriaFlatiron, fresh Peruvian, $$
Brasserie Les HallesFlatiron, delicious comfort food $$

Western Massachusetts

Blue Heron, Sunderland, Best in Valley $$$
Cafe Adam, Great Barrington, gazpacho $$$
Bistro Zinc, Lenox, Parisian staples $$
The Farm Table, Bernardston, eat at bar, risotto $$$
30 Boltwood, Amherst, renovated Lord Jeffrey Inn $$$

Lobster ShackWilliamsburg Snack Bar  Fresh value $
BakeryBread Euphoria, Haydenville, Bakery goodnot lunch $$
Italian Market/DeliFrigo’s, Springfield, VealDinners to go $$
Chinese/Japanese Delivery: Taipei TokyoNorthampton  $$

Top Contributor TripAdvisor

RestaurantReviews 2012

Best of 2012

New York~ 118212435_158ec34475_z
Gramercy Tavern. Everything is perfection. But, my true test of a great restaurant is the Quail. Medium rare and succulent to the bone. Best dinner of the year soup to nuts.

ABC Kitchen. No better way to celebrate a birthday than lunch on a warm March day with a dear friend and sweet Maine lobster. Just a few tables away, Meryl Streep was enjoying her husband’s fries. img00336-20120308-12434

nikon_568.344184704_stdGreat Barrington, Massachusetts~ Café Adam. Long Island oysters for lunch, soft-shell crab BLT in season. Wonderfully creative and fresh.

Bernardston, Massachusetts~ Farm Table. Atmosphere is a bit staid in the colonial interior rooms. But, on a balmy Indian Summer day in October, burgers and crabcakes outdoors taste best.

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Lenox, Massachusetts~ Bistro Zinc. A touch of Paris in the Berkshires. Moules frites, omelettes, soupe à l’oignon. Authentic consistent fare. pommes-frites-and-smoked

For all of Carol’s Travel & Dining reviews, check out TripAdvisor where she is a Top Contributor: 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/tablesedge

MyNewYork

Dreams of my father. Lots of them starting at ten. Mad times in Manhattan 1960’s. Train from Springfield, dining car with formal tablecloths, waiters, silver, china. First plane ride on a PamAm prop to Idlewild from Bradley. Lunch at Toots (as in tootsie, not a horn sound) Shor watching an already drunk Jack Lescoulie at the bar during a day of buying men’s clothing at the Sperry Rand building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. Jack was Dave Garroway’s sidekick on the Today show. Sardi’s for dinner then late at Jilly’s singing around the bar with Nancy Wilson into the wee hours. Memories of trips to New York with my Dad. Priceless. 

Copa Cabana to see Sammy Davis, Jerry Vale, lots of other Italian singers named Frankie or Johhny or Tony. Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé. The bocce court at Il Vagabondo. Cousin Joey DiVito and his wife Tootsie (really) took care of me. P.JClarke’sElaine’s. Those were the days.

Swanky times at Sign of the Dove21La GrenouilleLe Veau d’Or. Daddy Joe always acted as if it were his own dining room at home. They responded in kind. The Assembly steakhouse, Old HomesteadPeter Luger’sThe Palm. O’Neal’s original Ginger Man.

No wonder restaurants have always been the center of my life. Every time I’m on the West Side Highway heading south along the Hudson, I’m home.
Happy Birthday, Dad. 8/30/30