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Memory food, Christmas Menu

December 18, 2012

I can’t believe how fast the holidays are approaching. It is a time to reflect on what I like to call memory food. It is similar to comfort food but it doesn’t just make you feel cozy, it has a story behind it. We all have memory foods; they are the ones where the aroma and taste of the dish bring you right back to the moment when that dish made its impression. It doesn’t always have to be a profound moment to create a memory food; sometimes it is the simplest moment that leaves its mark. For the Christmas Eve menu at Il Ristorante I wanted to do my own interpretation of “The Feast of Seven Fishes.” While it is unclear why it is called that it is a tradition in Italy to eat fish on Christmas. Because we could not eat any meat or dairy on religious days we always ate fish. But since Christmas was special we ate a special meal of fish. I don’t think anyone ever counted 7 exactly but there was definitely a lot of fish. It was more about bringing the family together to enjoy the company and to celebrate the holiday. I wanted to bring my own personal style to this menu while keeping true to my Italian roots. I am very excited to share these memory foods with customers during this special holiday season. This menu will only be served on Christmas Eve. I should also mention that this meal has been said to bring good luck to those that eat it. I also have a special menu for New Years Eve that has been created using ingredients that are considered LUCKY!

Christmas Eve Menu at Il Ristorante
Pescato
smoked salmon, blue fin tuna crudo , soppressata di polpo

Ostriche all’Apicio
walnuts, pancetta, honey, spezie forti

Sgombro in Carpione
spanish mackerel, market radishes, champagne vinegar

Gemelli con Gamberi e Cicerchie
cicerchie beans, shrimp, Parmigiano Reggiano

Branzino toscano
tuscan lentils, porcini carpaccio, lemon agrumato dressing

Torta di Formaggio
mascarpone, huckleberry, gingerbread gelato

It’s almost holiday time

November 30, 2012

I am getting ready for the holidays here at Il Ristorante. I have been working with my kitchen crew to prepare some special holiday menus that I am very excited to share with everyone. I am always excited for the holiday time because even though it is cold, spirits are high and people want to connect with each other. What better way to enjoy time with your family and loved ones than over a meal? Holidays and food always go together and I love the comfortable feeling of simple, honest, classic food. I think that comfort food always evokes a feeling of home and that is what the holidays are about.

Ciao!

November 26, 2012

Ciao!  I am very excited about the new website and the new location of Salumeria Rosi.  It has been a lot of work but the place is beautiful.  I would love for people to come in and try the new food at our Upper East Side location, 903 Madison Avenue btw.72nd and 73rd.  The location still features a counter where you can purchase meats, cheeses, and other products to take home.  The new location also offers a bar area where you can sit and enjoy coffee, a sandwich, or a breakfast pastry.  The white tablecloth dining area serves lunch and dinner featuring the simple, honest, classic Italian food of Chef Cesare Casella.  I look forward to seeing you soon!

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