Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food Memories

     There's this little italian restaurant about a block and three feet down from our house. As usual, I use the term "house" very loosely. Its two main uses for me can refer to my apartment or to the TV show. As of now, I am referring to the "house" as in my apartment building.
     The restaurant's name is Puttenesca. I have several fun food memories of that place.
     There's some story or another that has to do with Puttenesca. I don't really remember the story, but it had something to do with the Upper West Side twenty years ago.
     But the story that I have about Puttanesca is the food that I always ordered when I went there. I don't like favorites, because there are always too many to count. However, the food I order at Puttenesca might just classify as a favorite meal. Here's what I usually order:
     Garlic Bread - Puttenesca sadly does not have this dish anymore, so it will automatically classify as a "Food Memory." It is toasted to a crunchy perfection with melted cheese, herbs, garlic, and salt. Served on a simple white plate, the pieces come in fours, each one with large portion.
     Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato - It's simple, but yet traditional. The tomato slices are placed in a makeshift bowl, with two fairly large balls of mozzarella placed delicately in the middle. Finally, a light pesto sauce is drizzled in a ring around the outside. The mozzarella pieces are soft on the outside, and softer on the inside.
     Goat Cheese and Asparagus Ravioli with pink Vodka Sauce - Don't worry, the Vodka sauce doesn't contain alcohol. There's some scientific solution where the alcohol evaporates out of the sauce as it cooks. I've seen this done with several foods, and it's really interesting. The dough that holds the cheese is colored a very bright green, which most likely contains the asparagus. Inside, the goat cheese is soft, moist, and perfect for ravioli. There are usually eight pieces of ravioli sprinkled with shredded cheese that sit in a puddle of delicious pink sauce. My only regret is that I am never satisfied with the amount of ravioli. I always want more.
     Profiteroles - Puff pastry with ice cream, swimming in chocolate sauce completes my list. At times it may be hard to cut out portions of this dish with a spoon, but every part--the chocolate, the pastry, and the ice cream--contributes to make a wonderfully sweet and satisfying conclusion to a night out.
     My story of Puttenesca is only partially complete. However, this time I did not stay true to my food memories list. Since Puttenesca does not make the garlic bread anymore, I moved on to the next portion of the meal. I did have the mozzarella dish, but the tomatoes were very unripe, which was dissatisfying due to the current season, and the mozzarella balls were cold, hard, and small as far and buffalo mozzarella goes. I was saddened by this change in memory.
     Instead of getting my cherished ravioli, instead I decided to try a different dish. I ordered steak and potatoes. It was very good; juicy, not too much gristle, in all a very good steak. I wasn't much a fan of the potatoes, though. I did realize the oddity of getting steak and potatoes at an italian restaurant.
     Finally came the dessert. I happily enjoyed my Profiteroles, all three of them. They were smaller than I remembered, but that was probably because I had gotten bigger. Needless to say, they were very good indeed.
     Oh! And I forgot to mention! Happy Birthday to my little brother, Dash, who also enjoyed this fun, night out with his cherished Mac & Cheese & Truffle oil! (See my mom's article for more about this)

Here's simply to food, and the wonderful tastes we keep in our hearts,
Yours, Kate

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