Tag Archives: tiramisu

Italia Week: Venice!

Map of Italy - VeniceIt’s Italia Week! I recently ate my way through Italy across five cities (6 including a small pit stop in Naples) and want to share with you all the delicious things I had. I’ll be posting about my foodventures all week, featuring one city each day. LAW and I were most interested in eating where the locals were gathering, rather than checking out the most posh spots in town. We did our research, so if you’re traveling to Italy, I hope you can use this as a guide to great homestyle Italian food! If not, then hopefully this gets you craving some awesome, fresh ingredients and simple cooking.

LAW and I flew into Milan and immediately took a train to Venice.  Don’t worry, we return to Milan on the last leg of our trip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo Euro trip begins until someone picks up a sandwich from the train station! This was the first thing I had in Italy. It’s from a small booth in the Milan train station. Lightly seasoned ham, arugula, swiss, and mustard sandwiched between fresh focaccia. I didn’t expect a train sandwich to be this good. I found myself comparing all the other sandwiches on this trip to this one.

We also had a croissant sandwich. Buttery croissant, savory prosciutto, bitter and crisp arugula, and sweet tomatoes… you really can’t go wrong with these ingredients. That’s the thing with Italian food. Everything is so simply made, therefore quality of ingredients really matters.

Notice how soft and not stringy the prosciutto is (unlike a lot of what I have here in NYC).

We arrived in Venice on this beautiful sunny day. This was taken on a water taxi to San Marco, where our hotel was. I know, San Marco is the most touristy area to stay in. But we only gave ourselves two days to explore Venice, so staying somewhere central was important for ease of access. It ended up being perfectly charming. I fell asleep to men singing old school Italian love songs on the gondolas that floated by our hotel window every night. Legit. Continue reading Italia Week: Venice!

PASSION!!!!! – key takeaway from Rana’s pasta-making class

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGiovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina
75 9th Ave
(between Avenue Of The Americas & 5th Ave, in Chelsea Market)
New York, NY 10011

PAAASSSSIONNNN!!! Chef Antonella Rana’s voice is STILL ringing in my ears. That was my major takeaway from the pasta class I went to at this new italian restaurant in Chelsea market.

Have passion.

There are perks to having a best friend in the food industry. M.B. invited me and my beloved intern, Y.N., to one of their many pasta making classes. It’s normally a $65 per person class, which I thought was too hefty for me to ever want to do out of my own pocket, but definitely reconsidered after experiencing the class. Rana’s class was exceeded every expectation I had about cooking classes.

The class comes with a complimentary glass of wine, any wine of your choice on their extensive list of wines-by-the-glass. We somehow managed to get two glasses… not sure if there’s a loophole in the system or if Y.N. and I were just looking really good Monday night. Continue reading PASSION!!!!! – key takeaway from Rana’s pasta-making class

L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant in West Village

228 W 10th St
(between Bleecker St & Hudson St)
New York, NY 10014

I have yet to find an Italian restaurant that I love in NYC.  I miss the North End in Boston, where the Italian restaurants serve up delicious pastas in the most unpretentious ways.  The waiters and waitresses are sarcastic and on the verge of being rude but with good Italian humor.  The restaurants are cozy and small, always packed with just a table or two too many.  The food is served in large family style portions.  Pasta is not called “rustic” but is just labeled “homemade” – really the same thing.  Flavors are bold and chefs are not afraid to use large pieces of garlic.  Prices are also reasonable.  That’s a big one.  Paying more than $20 for a non-seafood pasta just seems a bit odd to me.  Well, with that being said, I’ve been on my search nonetheless.  Last week we tried L’Artusi, a pretty well-known Italian restaurant in the city that we had not gone to yet.  LAW and I were in the mood for pasta and fish and L’Artusi had just that.

We started with the Roasted Mushrooms with pancetta, fried egg, and ricotta salata ($17). This is the priciest appetizer on the menu but is also their most well-known.  Almost every review I’ve come across about L’Artusi mentioned the roasted mushrooms as being amazing.  And it really was quite good.  The mushrooms had an amazing chewy texture, but more importantly, an AMAZING smokey flavor.  The egg served as a nice creamifier as it added a bit of moisture to the mushrooms.  Ricotta salata (ricotta that has been pressed, salted, and dried) was very light, which was great because when I first saw the dish, I was intimidated by the volume of cheese piled onto the shrooms.  Luckily, they served little purpose other than adding a bit of saltiness.  There were also little slices of roasted garlic and some kind of pickles, both adding a bit of sharpness to the dish.  Yum.  Though not $17 kind of yum.  It’s really difficult to mess up mushrooms, eggs, and garlic and though the dish was good, it didn’t blow my mind.

This is the Orecchiette with sausage, salami, and pecorino ($18), rated one of the 12 most epic New York City pastas to eat before you die by Eater.  The orecchiette pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, with a slight bit of elasticity when chewed.  Sweet Italian sausage was good, though was nothing special.  I loved the tinge of bitterness and the slight crisp texture the radicchio offered, it really complemented the sweetness of the sausage and the creaminess of the cheese.  If it were up to me, I would’ve added a little more chili flakes to kick up the heat.  Otherwise, it was a solid pasta dish.  I, again, wasn’t overwhelmed by how awesome it was, but was happy with it. Continue reading L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant in West Village