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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Unusual Menus

In this economy, a newish restaurant near us was advertising 47% off the regular price for a 3-course dinner meal for two.  It was not located in the best neighborhood, more of an artsy area with little parking available.  The bohemian types preferred to walk, and judging from my quick perusal of the menu, they tended toward odd food combinations, as well.  Zagat had highly rated them.

Just in case I was missing some fine point of gastronomic glee, I ran the unusual selections by Benedetto, experimentative soul that he was, starting with dessert.

“Goat cheese cannoli with roasted plums,” I tried to keep a straight face, as he shot back a look that basically said, “You’ve got to be kidding.” My husband wasn’t buying any of it, literally or figuratively.

“These are people who don’t feel good about themselves,” he summed up after a moment of respectful silence in honor of Cannoli.  “They must feel superior with these odd combinations of foods.  Whatever a normal chef would NOT place together, they would….”

I let him go on.

“Listen, I’ve eaten enough goat cheese in my life, and it wasn’t in top restaurants, either.  This is peasant food.  I ate the real thing, right out of the goat, along with goat butter, goat yogurt, and goat’s milk.  I don’t need to pay some chef to make an Italian Bedouin dessert….”

He continued, “Why in the world would you put goat cheese in cannoli, do they sweeten the goat cheese?  Italians keep goats, so why didn’t they use goat cheese in the first place, rather than ricotta?  There are reasons, I tell you, there are reasons.  Why call it cannoli, call it a fried goat roll, call it a wrap, for all I care.  But cannoli?  No.  Strano.”

“What’s with the roasted plums?  Are they saying prunes?” I wonder.

“It’s the dessert that keeps on giving,” he laughs.

He decides that the Valrhona Caramelia cheesecake with espresso syrup and mocha whipped cream would be quite acceptable, grazie, and I would go with the safe and sedate chocolate truffle tarte with raspberry sherbet, tante grazie.  Not that we’d be going to this restaurant any time soon.  Their selection of entrees and appetizers were just as weird, too, nouvelle cuisine bordering on peculiar.

To whet our appetites, we were happy to be adventuresome, but asparagus with burrata, fava beans and house-made chorizo, or Pennsylvania-raised goose egg with duck confit in a truffle oil dressing left us reaching for our dictionaries, rathering than licking our chops.

We truly were not the diner crowd, longing for pedestrian meatloaf and mashed potatoes, those comfort foods that were anything but comforting once upon a time in the school cafeteria.  But the bison flank steak would have to wait.

All around the world, the two of us had taken cuilinary plunges, however, this seemed more like a bungee plummet into unpalatable territories.  The crazy combos were over the top.   Maybe it was all a matter of perspective. After all, who would have thought of melon and prosciutto, once upon a time?  Do you like trying new menus?



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    Give me Southern fried chicken or a nice prime rib with a baked potato and that makes me happiest. The new menus are not for me. But I hope that others can enjoy them.

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