Dinner tonight: Pork Osso Bucco with Creamy Polenta
Church Street Hogie from Taylor Gourmet Deli in Washington, DC
Spicy homemade Italian sausage, sauteed onions and peppers, and mozzarella (they were out of provolone, which normally goes on this sandwich).
I didn’t really know how much food this was going to be, so I ordered the larger size. It was far too huge, but made for great drunk food the next day.
"Sinker" Cookies at Corbo’s Bakery in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio
I’m not sure what these are actually called. Some people call them Sinkers. I call them “Aunt Carty Cookies”, because my great-aunt made them when I was a little kid. One time she made me over 100… I think it filled up our entire freezer. They’re so good.
Just check out their Urbanspoon link if you don’t believe me. “Ultimate Italian Sweet Shop” and “best cake around” aren’t things people throw around lightly.
Clambake from a few weeks ago at my Italian club, complete with homemade wine in a styrofoam cup (the guy says they make 200 gallons/year, which is impressive).
One of the reasons why I love fall (along with baseball finally ending, football finally starting, and it being time to break out the hoodies again).
Day-old bread from Jimmy John’s, Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic, Parsley, and Basil; tossed in Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar
I highly suggest using Jimmy John’s day-old bread for any recipe that calls for French bread. It’s just the best - and it’s 45 cents/loaf. I mean, come on.
Basil, Parsley, Mint, Garlic, Capers, Red Wine Vinegar, Dijon, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, and Black Pepper
Great on grilled chicken, sautéed zucchini, or pasta.
Linguine alla Carbonara con Tartufo at DC Pasta Company in Strongsville, Ohio
Fresh pasta tossed with pancetta and truffled cream; topped with a poached egg.
My love for runny yolks is pretty well documented (Here, here, and here; for example). And at this rate, my love for this restaurant will be pretty well documented as well. This is in the top five pasta dishes I’ve ever had.
[Previously: Bucatini con Salsa di Agnello]
Bucatini con Salsa di Agnello at DC Pasta Company in Strongsville, Ohio
Tomato-braised Lamb and Mint
This, as well as everything else we ordered, was fantastic. The Cozze con Salsicca (Mussels with Spicy Sausage) are a must-have.
Overall, I couldn’t agree more with the Cleveland Scene review (“Pasta Perfect”) for this place.
John Caron, president of Olive Garden, in this piece about how Olive Garden creates their menu. Gnocchi is too advanced, and Pesto is too oily? Oh, America.
I’ll probably have a lot more to say about Italian food (or what American culture passes off as Italian food) when I’m done reading John Miriani’s book How Italian Food Conquered the World. For now, all I can do is give a trademark sigh and leave you with this:
Olives don’t even grow in gardens!
Seafood Cioppino at Eddie’s Pizzeria Cerino in Seven Hills, Ohio
I’ve already posted about this place, and I try not to double-post; but I’ve been wanting to do a Cioppino post forever.
Whenever I see this tomato-y bowl of seafood and pasta on the menu, I have to get it. I ordered it during my last trip to Vegas, but the picture was so dark I didn’t end up posting it. So here you go. This was on special, though, and I’m not sure how long they’re going to have it as a featured item.
If you’re a seafood person like me, you just have to get this. So good.
Homemade Pasta tossed in Olive Oil, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese; topped with Cherry Tomatoes.
Must remember next time: 1) less eggs, 2) more kneading, 3) roll thinner.
"The Original" Flatbread at The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen in Chicago, Illinois
Basil Pesto, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Whole Milk Mozzarella topped Fresh Basil.
I really loved everything about this place. If I ever open a bar or restaurant, I’d definitely take some cues from this place. Good food, long drink list, and just an overall cool vibe.
I wish we found this place on night one, instead of going to the South Loop Club, which also served food til 2am. Wouldn’t have made up for losing my favorite hoodie, but it would have counted for something.
Italian Beef Sandwich at Al’s Italian Beef in Chicago, Illinois
Regular. Hot. Pro. Dipped.
Size. Peppers. Cheese. Dipped? (Oh hell yeah)
Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Raviloi at Eddie’s Pizzeria Cerino in Seven Hills, Ohio
Red Pepper Pasta filled with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic; topped with a Vermouth sauce, Mushrooms, and Spinach.
This was the full portion - eight ravioli (there’s one hidden in the middle there); but it didn’t matter because I couldn’t resist the bread and olive oil. It’s pretty common place for Italian joints to do that (I can’t think of one that doesn’t), but this bread was not pretty common. It was awesome. It didn’t even really need the olive oil - but come on, that’s never stopped me before.
The ravioli was great. Not sure I got a whole bunch of the eggplant taste. But the garlic (you can smell it before you walk in the door) was front and center along with the Vermouth sauce. Sweet, but not too sweet. Perfectly brought everything together.
See also: pretty regular Groupons and happy hour specials ($4 wines, $2/dozen mussels).