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.

 

Chef Sam Cooking Class with Lentil Cheeseburgers and Caesar Salad

Chef Sam cooks a Lentil Cheeseburger recipe with a Roasted Red Pepper sauce and prepares a Caesar Salad during Cooking Class. He told how he sterilized the eggs for the dressing, gently lowering them into boiling water for five minutes. Safety was emphasized.  Lentils, mushrooms, beets, carrot, onions and garlic were a few of the main ingredients.  Miso paste helped hold it together.  There were ten participants and we all enjoyed the delicious meal at the end of the class.

The class was held Wednesday afternoon at The Stephen Foster Community Center on 286 Main Street, located next to the Lawrenceville Branch of the Carnegie Library. The center is housed in an 1865 brick building now on the National Historic Register. The center offers fitness classes such as Cardio Strength and Flexibility, Tai Chi, Yoga, Soul Line Dancing, and Practical Meditation in addition to craft and  other recreational activities.

Next cooking class with Chef Sam is May 29 at 12:30. $4 is the cost of the class.

 

 Thank you Chef Sam for a great class and delicious meal

Allegheny County senior citizens can eat lunch for a modest donation of a dollar but should register by calling the Community Center office by noon the day before at 412-350-5460.   Contact Allegheny County Seniorline 412-350-5460 for eligibility, if you need a Home Delivered Meal.

Good Friends Host Retirement Dinner

For me? Wow!

We had trouble finding a date when I wasn’t out of town. And-

They both still work full time. They also have lots of activities with their kids as I do (grandkids), too, but finally we coordinated a date. Just yesterday- Sunday. Everything was so welcoming.

Doesn’t matter I will be retired 4 years in June 😀. I thought it was lovely to be entertained royally and then sent home with homemade cookies, decorated so lovingly.

I am fortunate to have such very good friends who cheer me on and celebrate my retirement.

A beautiful table set with China and candles and linens and the dinner was delicious.

P.S. check out my host’s GOT shirt with matching package of Oreos. He was ready to watch the upcoming battle everyone was anticipating.

Thanks for a lovely dinner.❤️

Look What Steve Bought at Bloomfield Groceria

We were sad when a local neighborhood business on Cedarville Street, Groceria Italiana, closed their doors last summer..

But here’s the good news!

It  has recently reopened as Bloomfield Groceria.  It’s really close to Steve’s work so he picked up this wonderful ravioli and brought it home.

We are thrilled they are in business under new proprietors.

Especially after tonight’s dinner of their delicious Spinach and Cheese Ravioli. I sautéed baby spinach- you can see it peeking out underneath.

And I grated some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. I asked Steve if he could  to pick up mushroom ravioli for dinner next week.

Here’s an Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article written by Bob Batz, Jr., about the new Bloomfield Groceria  

https://www.post-gazette.com/local/neighborhood/2019/03/25/Bloomfield-Groceria-Italiana-Italian-grocery-store-Cedarville-Little-Italy-opens/stories/201808050006

Babka or Paska for Easter

This loaf was purchased at Weiland's Market in Clintonville Ohio
Babka or Paksa.  That's what's on the Reinecker's Bakery label.

Babka 

“the Polish and Belarusian noun babka and the Belarusian,Ukrainian, Macedonian, Bulgarian and Russian baba means “grandmother” or “old woman”, and as applied to the pastry probably refer to its shape, a tall cylinder, sometimes with corrugations resembling a skirt’s pleats.[1]

or Paska.

“Paska breads are a traditional element in the easter holidays of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Romania, Moldova, Georgia and parts of Bulgaria” 

“Paska is made with milk, butter, eggs, sugar, except in Romania, where the recipe most commonly includes sweet cream, cottage cheese and/or sour cream with eggs, sugar, raisins and rum.  An egg and water mixture is used as a glaze.”

 

I can tell you that it tasted delicious.  It is said to have a Brioche-like quality and there is a richness due to those moist golden raisins and the bread has just a hit of sweetness.  Add a little butter.  Mmmmm.

Here is a recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker for Paska Easter Bread and it has FIVE egg yolks.

Here is a recipe for Polish Babka Easter Bread from King Arthur’s Flour with three whole eggs.

 

Instead of Regular Bread

I’ve seen recipes for cauliflower pizza crust but not this line of cauliflower products. They just caught my eye a couple of weeks ago at Lucky’s Market in Clintonville. No taste test on my end yet but I’m eager to hear from others who’ve eaten the cauliflower sandwich things or pizza crusts.

Universal Remedy

Universal remedy. Hot soup.

(or a different soup recipe if Veg or GF)

My DIL made Chicken Soup in her Insta-Pot.

Under the weather? Feeling a chill? A little blue? Just hungry? Maybe you’re not even sure what ails you. Or you’re in the pink.

I heartily recommend a good bowl of hot soup.

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

A test request:  Can you leave a word or two in the comment section today so I can see how EASY- Difficult or IMPOSSIBLE it is to leave a comment if you are not a WordPress Blogger.  I have heard from at least two regular commenters that it is not easy to do so.

Nobody has time to experience a hassle. 

The WordPress Elves may have “improved” something in the comment section of the blog. Thank you.