Greens and Beans at Cucina Vitale

The perfect beginning to a lovely birthday dinner.

Greens and beans. “Escarole, Northern Beans, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine, & Parmesan”

My friend V and I shared this delicious appetizer.  You might have seen it from our last visit to this restaurant on the Southside, Cucina Vitale. Know it’s cash only, BYOB and reservations are necessary for dinner.

Bon Appetit article

 

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Fresh Cut Fries Not From a Freezer

 

French Fries, Pommes Frites, Chips, Fries.  These are fresh cut fries, fried to perfection.

The frozen, thinner ones from the freezer have been around since the 1940’s,  You can find these frozen fries in plastic bags in the grocery store freezer section and they are served in most diners and fast food restaurants. There is no comparison to fresh cut potatoes, plunged into hot oil, drained and sprinkled with salt.

Sometimes fried twice for that extra crispy exterior and light creamy interior. Soggy and limp is the worst.  The type of potato will affect the end result.  Russet/Idaho potatoes are mentioned in many recipes and if you want to become a student of types of potatoes click this Guide to Every Potato You Need to Know

Eating fries may clog your arteries and make one fat, but they can certainly satisfy the palate.  Some people accompany them with ketchup, vinegar, mayonnaise and slather them with cheese or gravy and even tomato sauce. You’ve probably heard of the famous Pittsburgh Primanti Bros sandwich with the fries and slaw right inside the sandwich. (photo of one here)

Here’s Bon Appétit Magazine’s Kelly Dobkin’s “culinary school method” for fail-proof, perfect French fries Secret to Perfect French Fries recipe 

Need less fat, you can bake crispy fries in a 450 degree oven (recipe here)

Summer Squash Sauce, Arugula and Parmesan

A couple of yellow squash and a zucchini sautéed in olive oil with onion and garlic- sprinkled with fresh Parmesan on top of a bed of arugula and pasta.  Olives, sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella on the side .

The tastes of summer.

Licorice-Yes or No?

This past week I’ve asked how you feel about eating Cilantro and Rhubarb. What tastes are pleasing to your palate?

Here’s another distinctive flavor.

Licorice-Yes or no?

Meet Menno, from Holland, who has a stand on Saturdays at Winterfeldplatz Market, selling all kinds of licorice. Some with salt. Some with a lot of salt   My eldest son likes licorice. I do, too   But without the salt for me, please. Here is Menno’s website   http://www.lecker-lakritz.de

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Above- The brochure listing all the varieties  And the  assortment I selected for Mark

Somewhere in the archives I have photos of my sister eating a licorice ice cream cone in Twisp Washington. And of course Menno has sold pure licorice powder to our favorite Berlin ice cream store, Kiez Eis, for licorice ice cream. You know I asked.

 

Rhubarb- Yes or No?

Another distinctive flavor. The cilantro responses were mixed as I figure rhubarb will be as well.

BUT even if you see the word rhubarb and declare you don’t like the taste of this mouth watering stalk, that’s only because you didn’t stop in Kiez Eis https://kiezeis.de/ yesterday afternoon.

Oh my.   It was absolutely the taste of perfect childhood summer captured on top of an ice cream cone.  Next time I will taste a sample of the Spargel (asparagus) Ice cream and report back.

Rhubard   Yes or no?

(Just don’t eat the leaves) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

‘Tis the Season

’Tis the season.  Strawberry season. These look good AND taste wonderful. We all know there are berries  that look impressive but disappoint when you bite into them. But not these.

These strawberries captured the taste of summer. Totally!

Unadorned, they were perfection.

(and when I went to look up strawberry I read that “in the botanical world technically they are not considered a true berry” who knew?

“The strawberry is not, from a botanical point of view, a berry. Technically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries.[4] Each apparent “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.”[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry

Cucina Vitale Dinner on the South Side

We finally made it for Saturday night dinner on the South Side.  We’d been meaning to go eat at Cucina Vitale ever since Vincie discovered this dining gem in a Post-Gazette article by Dan Gigler in late January.

Cucina Vitale 

White tablecloths, cut red roses in glass vases, excellent service, delicious food cooked to perfection and served expertly.

Our Antipasti started with black and green olives, Roasted red pepper hummus-like spread and garlic infused olive oil in which to dip the crusty bread. Every bite was delicious. A dish of Greens and creamy Beans was shared. There are no words! What other descriptor can I use besides DELICIOUS?

Followed by the soup of the day which was Tomato Bisque with Basil  (Traditional Wedding Soup is always on the menu)

The specials were Chilean Sea Bass and Lump Crabmeat with a Lemon Caper Compound Butter with sides of Broccoli Rabe and Roasted New Potatoes.

And I ordered the  Cheese Ravioli topped with Medallions in Gorgonzola Sauce with a drizzle of Balsamic.

Tempting house made desserts of Cannoli, Lemon Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Burnt Almond Torte or Tiramisu were offered but we hadn’t left enough room.There are a few things to know if you plan to go-

Reservations are essential. BYOB if you desire and it’s Cash Only.  


GREENS & BEANS                                                                                                                            Escarole, Northern Beans, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine, & Parmesan


The Chilean Sea Bass with Lump Crabmeat and Lemon Caper Compound Butter

The Tomato Basil Soup with a touch of Parmesan


Chef Frank Vitale learned to cook from his Grandmother, in the photo on the restaurant wall.

Shot from across the street as we got into the car.