Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dining at La Locanda di Pietracupa

La Locanda di Pietracupa

Six months later, I am finally getting around to loading pictures from this fabulous ristorante. Perched on the higher ground of San Donato, their dining patio looks west across a valley of olive groves. Somewhere, not far beyond this valley, lies another, Val d'Elsa, the medieval hilltop town of Barbarino, and the rustic tranquility of La Torre di Ponzano, our refuge for one week. We enjoyed the food and service so much that we dined here twice!

Here is my view from our second visit, May 26th, 2008. The picture at the top of this blog shows me (D's view) from the same visit.

The pictures that follow are my best shots from both visits. Hope you enjoy!
Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Always sampling the local specialties.

Tomato Soup

Fava Beans and Salami in a fold of crispy Parmesan. Notice the tiny favas are not peeled.

Artichoke Flan. Outstanding!

House made Spaghetti with Squash Blossoms and shaved Truffles. Even Better!!!

Lamb Ravioli with Pea Broth


Frito Misto

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Recent Press, Internet Style (or Beer Recipes for the Holidays)

beer ice cream, anyone?
Ivan Sheehan (Associate Editor of Food & Dining, Northern Ohio Live) sent me an email last month asking for some beer recipes or pairings for two holiday menus: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keeping in mind that Great Lakes Brewing Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary, I had to oblige using their absolutely fantastic product. They brew, hands down, my favorite malted hops, bar none. While the micro brew market has blessedly burgeoned and I have tried only a fraction of what's available, I have yet to find a brewery that outshines GLBC. No, I have no affiliation with them. I just LOVE their beer. And, I confess, I consume quite a bit of it. Now, of course, I could not leave well enough alone with this. It's too easy to have simply paired beer with courses. I had to cook with the beer. This is the kind of fun challenge that chefs love. You can click here to read some recipes. For those of you who don't "click" that far, here are the menu items.

First Course: *Pumpkin-Dortmunder Chowder
Second Course: *Roasted Turkey Breast and Sausages Brined with Commodore Perry IPA
Third Course: Baked Apples with Burning River Caramel Sauce

First Course: *White Ale Lobster and Cod a la Nage
Second Course: *Porter-Lacquered Lamb with Eggplant and Roasted Shallots
Third Course: *Spiced Christmas Ale Ice Cream