Thursday, April 17, 2008
Last Stop: Rome, Part III
I promise...this is it! The last stop in the Rome adventure...well...for now. Something may strike my fancy that may show up at a later date but for now, there is an additional restaurant recommendation and a recipe that I just had to share with you.
The last evening there, we headed up through St. Peter's square one last time toward Piazza Angelica. The destination: Ristorante Taverna Angelica. With an ambience of "modern cozy", we had great service and a really lovely meal.
Well-prepared and creative fare is served in a relaxed setting where one can take one's time and really enjoy the entire experience. Not to mention a stunning collection of Italian wines - and a sommelier who knows them all well. I know, I know: a sommelier is supposed to know them well...but still, it's impressive when the match made is such a hit! For our meal, it was an Argiolas 2003 Monica di Sardegna Perdera, suggested to accompany the eclectic nature of the dishes we had chosen. Indeed, it went beautifully with the shrimp, duck, beef...(yep, we tried it all!)
I would have to say the Smoked Duck Breast with Celery and Walnut Salad served with Chestnut Honey and Rye Bread was the hit of the evening! Paper thin slices of tender, melt-in-your-mouth smoked duck hugging a mound of chopped walnuts and celery. The sweetness of the drizzles honey added a lovely complement to the smoky duck. This was something special. I nearly dropped my fork on the first bite.
Having so enjoyed the recommendation of the Cul De Sac from The Professor, we thought he may well have enjoyed Taverna Angelica.
Speaking of The Professor, he put this little number together as a savory side dish to chicken and roasted potatoes after he had been inspired by a salad that he had enjoyed one day. Even if you think that you do not fancy anchovies, I would really encourage you to give this a try. The sweet/salty/bitter combination is a win/win/win in my book! If you want to soften the anchovy flavor, he suggests letting the anchovy filets "melt" in the hot oil before placing the endive halves in the pan. Try it both ways and see for yourselves. (I told him that if he didn't become famous for his groundbreaking work on the Pantheon, he might enjoy fame from this dish.)
p.s. Greg: As you can see, I didn't have any fun at all! Maybe next time... (Thank you!)
Ristorante Taverna Angelica
Piazza A. Capponi, 6
+39 06.687 4514
Belgian Endives and Anchovies
Belgian Endives, cut in half lenghtwise (figure at least one per person)
Anchovies (one filet per endive half)
Place the anchovy filets in a pan of heated olive oil, topping each filet with an endive half. Cook them over a fairly high heat for a couple of minutes until the bottom of the endives are browned.
Then turn down to a very low heat and cover the pan with a lid, so the endives cook (and soften) all the way through.
Serve them with the browned, achovi-ed side up.
As you are plating the endives, toss a handful of pine nuts into the same pan and toss quickly over medium high heat to toast. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts atop the plated endives. Serve immediately.