Showing posts with label charcuterie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charcuterie. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Charcuterie and Vegetables Showcase at BISq (Cambridge, MA)

The popular Bergamot Restaurant opened a more casual sister restaurant near my apartment in Inman Square. I had walked past BISq many times in Inman Square, and I finally had the perfect opportunity to try it when I saw a Groupon for a 6-course tasting menu for $30 per person! I hadn't used Groupon for a while but recently I took a look around and saw that they actually have some great restaurant deals in Boston. I convinced my roommate to join me for dinner one night.

Our tasting menu starts off with some grilled avocado, grapefruit, frisee, salumi jam, peppercorn vinaigrette
I love avocado so this was a great starter for me, but the star of the dish was really the salumi jam. Yes, really, it's "jam" made with salumi instead of fruits!

Herb-marinated beets, raita, fennel, sunflower seed granola

It was unusual to have beets paired with spicy flavors as in this dish.

King oyster mushroom carpaccio, queso verde, red cabbage, peanuts, omelette, soy-ginger dressing 

This was my favorite dish of the night. A thin slice of king oyster mushroom is topped with small cubes of egg omelette, peanuts, and a bold queso verde.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make Duck Rillette. Recipe from Cafe Pinot's Art of Charcuterie Class

Patina's Cafe Pinot is holding a monthly Art of Charcuterie class with Chef Joe Vasiloff. Each month's class is different, and last month we learned how to make duck breast prosciutto and duck rillette. Here's the recipe for the duck rillette!

4 duck legs to make confit
1 cup green salt:

Ingredients for green salt (makes approximately 2 cups)
1 ½ cups kosher salt
1 cup picked parsley (packed)
¼ cup picked thyme leaves
3 fresh bay leaf
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic (sliced)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a super fine consistency, so it resembles the texture of white sand.
Art of Charcuterie
4 cups duck fat for confit 3/4-1 cup duck fat for rillette Freshly ground pepper MATERIALS
1 medium size glass dish, such as Pyrex for curing duck legs 1 high-sided saucepan for melting duck fat for confit 1 high-sided, oven-proof baking pan or dish 1 boning knife 1 pair of scissors (optional)

Step 1: Trim the duck legs of any excess fat that that extends beyond the flesh. Optional and as learned in class: around the base of the shank, cut around the shank, through the skin and tendons until you reach the bone.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Handmade Pastas and Charcuterie at Desco (Oakland, CA)

Desco is a gorgeous new restaurant in Oakland from Donato Scotti who owns Donato Enoteco in Redwood City, serving house made charcuterie and pastas.

Desco's bright and spacious dining room

I had dinner there with a couple of vegetarian friends, but I indulged in plenty of meat on my own. I started with a platter of three house-made charcuterie that seemed to be much more reasonable than the ones I find in LA. The Piatto della casa (smoked duck, lamb prosciutto, rabbit terrine ) is only $10
It's quite the charcuterie plate for $10! The lamb prosciutto was aged for 3 months and the rabbit terrine was drizzled with extra vecchio (extra old) balsamico.

There's a small list of classic cocktails ($10 each), but they're made well and included drinks like Pegu Club. The Old Fashioned was quite nice and they have a good selection of gin and whisky.

The thing you must get here is the handmade Casonsei ($12). Casonsei is a type of filled pasta from Bergamo in Lombardi region, where the chef is from. It is filled with pork and amaretto cookie crumbs, then topped with brown butter and guanciale. 
I absolutely loved it. The pasta had very nice thickness and texture. The pork inside is very tender, perfect with the crispy guanciale. This pasta was so delicious, I couldn't stop eating despite having another entree coming ..

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Churchill Ups The Game: New Cocktails By Mia Sarazen And Menu By Chef Bruce Kalman

Big changes are taking place at The Churchill in West Hollywood. Chef Bruce Kalman (formerly of The Misfit, Urbano Pizza Bar) is taking over the kitchen, and Mia Sarazen (Harvard and Stone, Black Market) has created a whole new cocktail menu ($12 each).

It's only been a couple of months, but The Churchill Old Fashioned (Old Fitzgerald Bourbon, house bitters, sugar) has already been touted as the city's best.


The charcuterie section features plenty of housemade products including pancetta, duck prosciutto, coppa picante. The cheese selection is small but excellent. Try the Hopscotch cheddar from Fiscalini in Modesto or Glacier goat cheese from Drake Farms in Ontario.

The warm Gougeres with gruyere and garlic chives ($6) are dangerously addictive, I couldn't stop popping one in my mouth.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wood and Vine (Hollywood, CA): Monday Market Dinners and ChickenandWaffles

Fact: Wood and Vine has one of the best al fresco dining area in Hollywood. Insist on a table here as long as the nights aren't too cold. It's a quiet escape from the craziness of Hollywood Blvd.

When Wood and Vine first opened, the executive chef Gavin Mills had to figure out how to work with the tiny kitchen and now he's got it down. The kitchen is so small it has no walk-in fridge! But that just means Chef Gavin goes to the market every morning for fresh ingredients.
At a recent dinner, I started my night with a Chai Gold Rush (chai and vanilla infused bourbon, lemon, honey, $12). This was a great cocktail, probably my favorite of the night! It's not overwhelmingly "chai"-like, just notes of spices. I hope they keep this one on the menu for a while!

Mondays are good to give Wood and Vine a try with their Monday Market Prix Fixe menu, $18 for 3 courses. There were three of us dining, so we tried one of the prix fixe menu while ordering other items to try.

The first course was a Melon consomme with basil.
This was a rather interesting first course. It was cold (good for the summer) but since it's also sweet, it was more like drinking melon juice rather than a consomme.

The entree that night was Shrimp and Grips with Anson Mills grits and house andouille sausage
The current menu has plenty of Southern items (as you'll see more below, chicken and waffles being one) and he's also doing a Southern Sunday suppers. I lived in South Carolina for high school and developed a liking to grits. I liked the shrimp and grits here, especially the texture of the grits and the addition of the housemade sausage.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lunching at Le Saint Amour (Culver City)

Le Saint Amour has been a bloggers' favorite ever since Chef Walter Manzke started consulting for this Culver City bistro. While I have yet been lucky enough to dine while he's in the kitchen, I was recently invited for lunch. It was a nice day so we sat on the patio, overlooking the beautiful city hall.

I had to order the Duck Confit Salad ($14) since duck confit and cherries sounded too good to pass up. Don't order this expecting a light lunch though. The duck confit salad at Petrossian comes with shredded duck confit integrated into the salad, but here the "salad" comes with an entire crispy duck leg along with arugula, cherries and hazelnut vinaigrette on the side.

Duck Confit Salad
They rotate around the fruit in this duck confit salad, and the PR rep accompanying me said previously they only used dried cherries. When I had it, the salad has both dried and fresh cherries, which I loved and balanced the bitterness of the arugula. The duck confit itself was well cooked: crisped skin and juicy, gamey flesh. The salad counters the richness nicely.

I only had a bite, but did enjoy the Croque Madame ($13) made with French ham, gruyere, bechamel, fried egg
Croque Madame

One of Le Saint Amour's co-owners/chef, Bruno, makes his own charcuterie: rillettes, pate, and terrines. We shared a plate of Pork Rillette, Venison Galantine with Pistachios, Country Pate, Persille in gelatin.
The pork rillette is definitely my favorite, with its melt-in-your-mouth richness, but I also enjoyed the novelty of the venison with pistachios.
They serve a nice bread made by Bread Lounge, a bread artisan in downtown LA.

Because I needed a pick-me-up, for dessert I ordered the Cafe LiĆ©geois, made with vanilla ice cream, espresso, chantilly cream, chocolate ($8)
Cafe Liegois
Like an affogato on steroids? The cream and chocolate made this a rich and heavy dessert. Nothing wrong with chocolate and ice cream, but in terms of an afternoon pick-me-up, food coma wins over the caffeine here.

I still need to come for dinner when Walter Manzke is manning the kitchen (I hear it's on Friday nights), as I've heard it would be one mind-blowing experience, but if my lunch was any indication, Le Saint Amour is still a solid dining destination even when he's out.


Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 842-8155
Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lido Deck & a mini foodbloggies reunion by the sea

LA & OC Foodie asked if I wanted to join a dinner in Newport Beach on a weeknight. Eh ... kinda far ... but then he said that the space used to be Blanca, which was where I first met him along with other bloggers for a Foodbuzz-hosted dinner.

inomthings and RumDood are coming also, he said, both of them I also met for the first time at Blanca. Oh! It's like a mini foodbuzz reunion at the exact same spot (though different restaurant now). We were also joined by Hey Hey Scenesters and e*starLA.

That Blanca space is now Lido Deck, a new restaurant helmed by Chef Don Schoenburg, formerly of Leatherby's Cafe and Tradition by Pascal (which I remembered reading a good review by LA&OC Foodie).

Though the space is right by the water and there are plenty of outdoor, water-side seating, as luck would have it, it was raining and freezing that night, thus we were seated inside one of their dining areas.

We started with a Charcuterie platter, all made in house: rabbit rillette, duck & olive, pork & parsley terrine.
Cheese: Humboldt Fog, 18-month dry aged Gouda, Spanish blue cheese (made from goat, cow & sheep), hard Tres Leches cheese from Northern Spain. Accompanied by honeycomb from Santa Monica Farmers Market.
I liked duck & olive terrine but my favorite was hands down the rabbit rillette. As for the cheese, I particularly liked the hard Tres Leches, especially with the honeycomb.
The platter was paired with a crisp 2008 Round Hills California Chardonnay.

New Zealand calamari, english cucumbers, black jewel heirloom cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives.
The squid was meaty, chewy, and firm. The black tomatoes may look funny and unnerving at first but it was actually firm and crisp and had a lot of juices. This was a nice and light dish to cleanse the richness of the charcuterie platter.

Next, to warm ourselves up in the chilly and wet night: Tomato soup w/ fennel, gruyere & brioche. Served with a little grilled cheese sandwich

Spicy shrimp w/ mango sorbet and mango gastrique
The shrimp were rubbed with Chile, pepper, and cayenne. The idea for this dish was for a beer-friendly dish, which it certainly was. It was on the spicy side for me though (working on it, I promise), but the others seemed to like it.

We then move on to the "main entrees" (not that we're not already getting full! :P ).
Cinnamon rub pork tenderloin w/ ratatouille, sweet corn polenta, with red mole.
The pork was well prepared, very tender and goes well with the sweet, flavorful mole.

Scallop, bacon, white truffle foam. Braised escarole.
The scallop is nicely seared and the bacon is a pretty tender and fatty slab. This is a revved up rendition of "bacon-wrapped-scallop" that is a tad decadent. Luckily the braised escarole helped balance it out.

Braised rabbit roulade, asparagus, chanterelle, celery root puree, white truffle foam.
The roulade was a rabbit tenderloin stuffed with mushroom salad (it had a nice fatty skin too). My only complaint was that the celery root puree was too cold. The white truffle foam shows up again here, but in both dishes I feel that the flavors of the rest of the dish overpowered the truffle foam, making it perhaps unnecessary.

We had another game meat entree in order: Venison, honey glazed, red wine reduction, root cauliflower puree, cippolinis.
We were so full at this point that we couldn't finish it. The venison was so good though, tender and pink in the center and just a bit gamey, the way I like it. I was sad to see them take away the uneaten pieces, but I couldn't fit any more.

We all shared a plate of four desserts, made by pastry chef/wife Christi Carter.
1) Medjool date cake, 2) Brioche french toast w/ brown sugar, braised pineapples, bananas.
3) Chocolate cake, 4)Sorbets: Strawberry, poached peach, lemon mango.
The date cake, dubbed "crack cake" by inomthings, was easily the table favorite.

I also really liked the Brioche French Toast, especially the addition of the braised pineapples.
The slight tartness from the pineapples really helped cut the richness of the french toast and made this exceed your usual french toast.

Don & Christi came out after dinner to chat with us and shared a bit of their story. They're both so friendly and are such an adorable couple.
Apparently if dining next to the water is not romantic enough for you, you can get a three course dinner from Don on a gondola!

While not all the dishes worked 100% for me, it was a solid meal throughout. This husband and wife team is a deserving star of the OC dining scene and I'm glad to see what they are bringing with their new restaurant. Waterfront dining with house made charcuterie, game meat, and decadent, addictive desserts? Maybe the OC isn't so bad after all ...

The Lido Deck
3420 Via Oporto Suite 101
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 673-9500
The Lido Deck Restaurant & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: This meal was hosted.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A.O.C.'s Great Big Small Plates

AOC Wine Bar, another child of Suzanne Goin's, has become one of the most popular restaurants in LA, offering a selection of charcuterie and other dishes to share.

It's a wine bar so I had to get some wine - I ordered a Castilla y Leon which was very flavorful although not quite ready IMO.

Bread at AOC Wine Bar is served with these delicious spicy olives and tapenade. Most of us like it so much we just chow down on these olives by themselves.

The menu is quite varied, with a selection of charcuterie, fish, vegetables, meat and also items from the wooburning oven. We only had room for a small samplings of it this time around.

For veggies we ordered the Beets, Baby Carrots, preserved lemon and cilantro
Interestingly, the sweetest and most flavorful of the beets were the white ones! I thought the reds were just okay but the white ones were delicious. It was also a really nice change from all the beet-goat cheese preparations all over the city.

hamachi crudo, avocado, and pomegranates
Great crudo. I loved the combination with the avocado and pomegranate seeds here, all the contrasting textures playing around. The hamachi itself was also great and had just the right amount of fat. I'll definitely get this again next time.

Pork rillettes with pickled onions
Great pork rillette, albeit a bit fatty. The olive oil-drenched toasted bread was similarly delicious. The portion is actually quite big, but it made for an excellent lunch the next day!

Clams with garlic, cherry tomatoes, and vermouth
Great fresh clams with a delicious broth. I'm convinced garlic is the best thing to happen to clams. Or just the best thing period.

Marketfish (salmon) with braised cabbage, bacon, and apples
I wasn't crazy about the cabbage but the salmon was nicely done - tender, not overcooked- and goes very well with the apples.

Grilled skirt steak with black olive aioli
Delicious skirt steak with bold flavors. It's a skirt steak so tougher and a little chewier for some people but I actually love it, and the one at AOC is actually pretty tender. The black olive aioli is delicious! It did made the whole dish a bit rich, but hey, wine will cut that ...

Hosui pear and huckleberry crisp with vanilla ice cream
This may seem strange, but I actually like the crust part of crisps/cobblers/whatnot, so this one for me barley had enough of that. I also ended up eating the pear and huckleberry separately - not so sure about both combined.

Mexican chocolate pot de creme with caramel cream and spiced almonds
I think this was my favorite of the two desserts. I loved the flavor of spicy mexican chocolate. A bit on the small side compared to the crisp, but it's yummy.

AOC definitely deserves its popularity with its great selection of wine and delicious food.
I'm looking forward to coming back and trying more!

8022 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 653-6359

A.O.C. on Urbanspoon

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