Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Michael Schlow's New L'Ancora Pop-Up at Eataly Boston

Chef Michael Schlow just started a new pop-up restaurant inside Eataly Boston. The latest pop-up is called L'Ancora and will feature cuisines from Italy's coastal cities. I recently attended a media preview tasting for the new pop-up. We started our lunch with some arancini.

Bruschetta con 'Nduja (La Quercia, 'nduja, provolone, parsley). 'nduja came from the village of Spilinga in Calabria.
If you've never had 'nduja, it is a spicy pork salumi spread. The combo on the toasted bread helps temper the spiciness and enhanced the flavors.

Insalata di Zucchine (raw farm zucchini, capers, lemon, arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano)
This was a simple, yet extremely fresh salad. Isn't that what Italian food is all about?

The bar at Eataly's Piazza will also feature special cocktails during the pop-up, such as this Campari Sour (Campari, Brooklyn gin, lemon, sugar).

Cavatelli alla Pugliese (housemade cavatelli, La Quercia pancetta, broccoli, rosemary, Pecorino Romano)
I was told that Michael Schlow's pasta dishes are not to be missed, and I believe it after having this cavatelli. This dish was inspired by a broccoli dish he had in Italy that was cooked for a long time. He captured the flavors but reducing the prep time to be manageable at a restaurant. The cavatelli itself was perfectly cooked. You have the rich, earthy flavors of the pancetta and pecorino, and the broccoli adds a bright flavor to the dish.

Pineapple Daiquiri (Plantation pineapple rum, lime, housemade pineapple syrup). Pineapples came to Europe in the 16th century. It was said to be discovered in South America by Christopher Columbus and was a major import item to Europe at the time.

Agnello Scottadito (Vanwell's Farm lamb chops, salsa verde, pinenuts, finger peppers)
Scottadito means "burnt fingers" in Italian - I didn't get burnt fingers but I definitely wanted to lick my fingers after these wonderful lamb chops.

Passito Old Fashioned (Russell's Reserve Eataly Select 10 year bourbon, Passito di Pantelleria, Angostura bitters, orange)
Passito di Pantelleria is a sweet wine first produced by Greeks, Romans, and Arabs who dried the grapes on straw mats in the Mediterranean. It works quite nicely in the Old Fashioned. I'm partial to Old Fashioneds in general, so of the three cocktails, this was my favorite.
L'Ancora is open now at Eataly Boston through September.


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