Tag Archives: rosemary


My wife and I came here with two other couples for a late night dinner tasting on New Year’s Eve. My overall impression was that the food was good, though there were definitely a few missteps along the way. I’d certainly eat here again from the regular menu. Perhaps the tasting menu was just a bit too ambitious, not to mention that it took a really long time to get through (the place was PACKED on NYE). I really liked the decor of this joint. It used to be a stationary store, from what I hear, that burned down and was later reopened as the restaurant. The space is wide open, has a European look and feel with a large rear wine bar, horizontally oriented subway tiles and exposed brick on the walls, and beamed, exposed wood ceilings.

Okay so on to the good shit, the shit that matters. The food. The joint is Italian, but there is definitely a more northern influence to the style, and even some American twists.

Here’s the menu we were served:

menu rosemary

First I will show you the table breads. These assorted rolls came with a sweet honey butter that was likely mixed with ricotta.

bread rosemary

The “assaggi” was essentially a fried rice ball made with faro grains instead of rice. It was really nicely executed. Juicy and earthy inside, crisp and light on the outside.

rice ball assaggi rosemary

Next were the veggie offerings. I liked the beet dish. It was fresh and had a citrus pop to it.

beet rosemary

The sunchoke soup was delicious, though I tasted more of a potato leek type of profile as opposed to the distinct, unique sunchoke that I love. A portion of the cup was crusted with pistachio nuts.

sunchoke rosemary

The rabbit/carrot/maple dish threw me for a loop. I couldn’t taste the rabbit or find a meat texture, although I definitely tasted something salty/savory. It was more of a foam or airy puree dish than something solid. The carrot was nice and the maple made it shine as the star of the plate. The stick looking thing coming out the left side is a dried crispy carrot shaving or slice.

carrot rabbit rosemary

The next plate contained both seafood selections; an oyster with a grapefruit foam, and some thinly sliced octopus atop a crisp, flatbread made from chic peas. I liked these both very much, though I may have preferred to taste JUST the oyster without any added citrus.

oyster octo rosemary

For the meat and cheese selections, we started with a burrata beggar’s purse filled with caramelized tomato jam and basil puree. This was pretty good, though I may have just rather had a blob of burrata with a little honey and olive oil. When people start taking that wonderful cheese and turning it into a vessel for holding other shit, they ruin the texture and deliciousness of the cheese.

burrata purse rosemary

The beef tartare with egg and caviar was more like a mini-burger with the bread involved. I would have liked it better if it was on a single, thin slice of toasted bread as opposed to being on a bun. Otherwise it was good.

beef tartare rosemary

The fois gras was excellent. The pomegranates probably were not needed. Perhaps maybe some caramelized onion jam or some pickled items would have been a better choice to pair with it.

fois gras rosemary

The baby bow tie pasta with rock shrimp and lemon was good, but there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste due to the lemon. Otherwise it was a nice dish.

pasta rosemary

The gnudo (a pasta-less raviolo), however, was probably the best item of the night, and it came with a nice helping of shaved truffle to really give it that earthy depth. Awesome.

gnudo rosemary

Next came a shot of chilled kale juice with blood orange to cleanse the palate.

kale soup rosemary

The first of the main dishes was bay scallops with mushrooms and a sea urchin sauce. The urchin was a little overpowering, so I wasn’t too much of a fan. The scallops were cooked perfectly though. I just wish they used a sea scallop rather than bay scallops.

scallop urchin rosemary

Another favorite of the night was the porchetta. While my wife had a few dry slices, mine was excellent, and the center piece was dark meat that had a real great crisp and flavor to it. Good fat content as well, and it was even served with what is one of the best pork rings I’ve ever had.

porchetta fennel rosemary

Desert was somewhat of a letdown, although it did have its moments. First was a chocolate ice cream soda with devil’s food and candied orange. I liked the soda/ice cream portion, but didn’t like the devil’s food and orange bit. When you live with The Cake Dealer, you get spoiled as far as baked items go.

brownie choc icecream drink rosemary

The other dessert, which was intended to be creative and skillfully prepared, was pretty much a disaster as far as everyone at our table was concerned. The cake portion beneath would have been fine on its own, or with a more normal, natural topping. The blood orange item was a chemically induced film that had an awkward texture – like the skin that forms on top of jello. Ugh. It was sort of a shitty way to end the meal.

grapefruit cheesecake rosemary

However, an even shittier way to end a meal is seeing this whopper at the end. Yikes! Too many bottles of wine (they don’t serve hard liquor).

bill rosemary

In sum, I probably wouldn’t go back for a tasting menu, but I would certainly try some of the more traditionally prepared items. The stuff where they tried to be Richard Blaise just fell short.

The Italian Peasant Sandwich

I grew up eating some classic Italian peasant food; recipes that were handed down from the old country to the new country. One such dish was escarole and beans. My mom used to make it so that it was like a porridge or thick soup. I thought: maybe I could make it less watery and throw it onto a sandwich with some braised pork. Below is what I came up with. I call it the Italian peasant sandwich.


What you need:

  • 1 lb Boneless fatty pork meat (I used country style ribs here, but pork butt works too)
  • 1 head of thoroughly rinsed escarole
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
  • Crusty style sandwich bread – I would go with two 10-inch rolls
  • 5 Cloves of garlic (2 for the braise and 3 for the sautee)
  • Olive oil
  • Crispy fried onions or shallots
  • Unsalted butter
  • Slow cooker or crock pot
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Cheap white wine
  • Onion flakes
  • Onion powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 3 Thai chili peppers
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Step 1: Sear the pork quickly in olive oil after coating all sides with salt & pepper. This will lock in the pork’s juices when it braises. LEAVE THE PAN DIRTY – you will utilize that porky brown goodness in a later step.



Step 2: Place pork into slow cooker with 2 cloves crushed garlic and wine, just enough to cover the meat. Maybe half to 3/4 of a bottle. Add salt, pepper, fresh chilis (cut into halves or thirds), onion powder, onion flakes, crushed red pepper, and rosemary. Set to cook 3 hours on high.


Step 3: Rinse your escarole to get all the fucking sand off. This green leaf is more “Sandy” than a chick with no arms and legs on a beach. Dry the leaves after rinsing.



Step 4: Sautee the escarole with olive oil and 3 crushed garlic cloves on medium heat, putting it right back into the pan you just used to sear the pork. Start with half the escarole, let it wilt a little, and then add the rest. Trust me it will all end up fitting into a normal large sized pan.



Step 5: Once the escarole is half wilted add the can of beans, plus the liquid in the can, and turn the stove to high. You want to boil off all the excess liquid while still retaining the flavor, infusing it into the leaves. Cook the liquid out, and add salt and pepper to taste as it finishes.

NOTE: As an alternative to adding the beans to the escarole in the traditional way, you could puree the beans into a spread, which you can then smear onto the bread.




Step 6: Pull the pork meat out of the slow cooker and pour the excess braising liquid into a wide sauce pan or a wide based pot.



Step 7: Add a tablespoon or two of unsalted butter to the sauce pan and reduce the braising liquid into a thickened sauce. While you wait, pull the pork meat apart with a pair of forks.



Step 8: Toast the sandwich bread and slice it open. Fill it with escarole and pork, and top it with crispy onions and the sauce made from the braising liquid.





Step 9: Eat, shit, repeat.

Garlic & Rosemary Rib Eye

Since we had to pay Uncle Sam a fat wad of dough for tax season, I figured I’d save a little money and do a steak from home. Since I was in the spirit of giving, I also figured I may as well share the process with you meat-heads.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Rib Eye Steak
  • A Few Sprigs Of Rosemary
  • A Few Tablespoons Of Soy Sauce
  • A Cup Of Olive Oil
  • Three Cloves Of Garlic
  • Course Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • A Frying Pan
  • Tongs
  • A Source Of Heat
  • A Plate
  • A Cutting Board
  • Something Sharp
  • Balls

You’ll also need at least one eye and one ear, to watch and hear the demonstration I put together below:

And no post is complete without a smattering of food porn photos. Here are some before, during and after shots:

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