The Queen of the market

The queen of the pumpkins at the Farmers Market.

Union Square, New York

img_9422

Advertisements

Perfect Pastries at La Portineria

Via Reggio Emilia 22, Rome, Italy

La Portineria is a place where the fruit, chocolate, cream and crust blend in miniature pastries that delight the palate and the eye.

The small size of these pastries and their creative design invite a prolonged exploration of flavors and textures: white chocolate and orange, dark chocolate and raspberries and much much more.

20160103_00220160103_001 20160103_003

Pasta @ Pepe Rosso

149 Sullivan Street, New York

At the bottom of the Pepe Rosso’s menu sign above the counter there is a statement that perfectly summarizes the value proposition of this restaurant: “No Diet Coke – No Skim Milk – No Decaf Coffee – Only Good Food”. I would complete this sentence by adding “… Especially Good Pasta”.

Every pasta dish is a delicious experience that brings a piece of Italy in Soho. The rigatoni with pink sauce and prosciutto are rich and decadent. The black squid spaghetti were a special – very special, actually – of the day. The tomato sauce was not overwhelming, leaving the main scene to the abundant seafood. The level of spiciness may be too high for the palate not used to southern Italian cuisine.

These two dishes are a representative sample of the menu. Other pasta dishes, the sandwiches and the focaccia are good reasons to visit Pepe Rosse more than once.

 

20150117_002-

20150117_001-20150117_003-

Beach Lunch @ Cayenas del Mar

Cayenas del Mar, Dominican Republic

Beach lunch with some tasty and unconventional dishes. A kind of latkes made with plantains and topped with fish, deep fried fish tails, eggplant rolls stuffed with fresh cheese. Rich flavors and multiple textures for a great lunch served directly at the beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Tapas @ Degustation

239 East 5th Street,  New York

Degustation is a unique blend of different styles that well represents the multicultural nature of the East Village. The menu consists of tapas with addition of non-traditional ingredients, mostly from other cuisines. The layout of the restaurant reminds of a sushi bar: the open kitchen surrounded by the bar offers the opportunity to enjoy the preparation of your meal. The exterior design is extremely low-key and it recalls the entrance of a prohibition-era speakeasy.

The tapas are attractive and characterized by a variety of ingredients and preparations that could satisfy different tastes and preferences.

Among the six tapas ordered for the dinner, the perfectly cooked octopus was the star. The charred flavor of its tender meat was counterbalanced by the freshness of zucchini and mint leaves, while the spicy sauce gave a pleasant kick to the tastebuds.

Octopus

The hawaiian blue prawns on top of the paella could have been a separate dish on their own. Their flavor was enriched by a mild spice rub and similarly to the octopus they were masterfully cooked. The paella was well balanced, not overloaded with ingredients, and it provided a good textural and flavor contrast with the prawns.

Paella

Finally, the Brussel sprouts confirmed the great versatility of this underappreciated  vegetable. The deep-fried sprouts were covered by a mix of breadcrumbs and cheddar, with cashews at the bottom. Each bite was a surprising explosion of flavor and textures.

Brussel Sprouts

A few other tapas – croquetas, scallops and cracked potatoes – were less successful. In the next tasting they will be probably replaced by other interesting tapas such as the roasted cauliflower, the wild board bbq and the foie gras.

Hasta luego, Degustation!

Fish Lunch @ La Entrada Beach

La Entrada, Dominican Republic

The cotorra is a typical fish of the coral reef. At the shacks at La Entrada beach, this fish is cooked in a traditional way that leaves a crispy skin on the outside with a tender meat on the inside. The beach is recommended for its Ocean and fresh water swim opportunities. A lunch at these shacks is even more recommended,  as a pleasant break between the morning and afternoon shift at this nice beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Fish Dinner @ El Babunuco

Camino del Saltadero, Cabrera 33000, Dominican Republic

El Babunuco is a sort of relaxing and anti-stress device. The name fits perfectly with this restaurant where culinary tradition meets artistic creativity. The fish was  the king of our meals: calamari fried in a crispy batter, crab meat and dorade (sea bream) were succulent and cooked according to simple and tasty recipes. Make sure to order also the crispy potatoes “of the house”.

Take also some time to walk around this place that is a blend of traditional restaurant, antiques shop and artist laboratory. If you look for a memorable experience, visit this place and you won’t be disappointed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA