June 4, 2008

Scrapin' Up the Bits... GO PENS! Style

I’ll be honest, I really don’t consider Domino’s to be pizza. Rather, I see it as cardboard layered with tomato- and cheese-like products and ridiculous amounts of processed meat products overflowing in saturated fat.

Nevertheless, this is swee…eee..eeeT:

"We basically just had to keep the fluids going, get some food in you," Sykora said. "We had some pizza coming. We had some power bars and stuff like that."

Asked if the pizza was Little Caesar's, the company founded by Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, Sykora flashed a smile.

"Domino's," he said.

The first pick-up of the year from our illustrious CSA included carrots, spinach, field greens, local honey, local syrup and a few other things.

The selection is limited this early in the season. Nevertheless, the carrots worked very well in an excellent carrot-ginger soup. The spinach accompanied some (mediocre) Italian sausage, onions, garlic, among other things, that ended up atop some gemelli. The field greens were fantastic eaten along side some homemade pizzas (including a fabulous experimental pie with red sauce, arugula pesto, and goat cheese), topped only with a standard balsamic vinaigrette.

And speaking of pizza, here’s a shot of our house specialty pizza: just sauce, chopped kalamata olives or, if you can find them, Moroccan olives, and, just as it comes out of the oven, a healthy sprinkling of freshly grated Pecorino.

A good addition to this pie are some thinly sliced roasted red peppers.

My mushroom hunting adventure had to be scrapped. Instead, got to see my soon-to-be 6-year-old score his lone soccer goal of the 8-game season. It was game 8.

I ordered and have received Michael Ruhlman’s Elements of Cooking. When I first read about this book last year, it seemed, well, kind of pretentious. But after reading some posts on his blog based on some of the “elements” included in the book, I decided maybe I was the one being dumb.

Inspired by Mr. Ruhlman, I hope to make my first homemade mayo this weekend.

Bona Terra on Urbanspoon

And to wrap things up… For our 11th wedding anniversary, we finally made it to Bona Terra in Sharpsburg. Tremendous meal. Can’t say enough good things about the food and service.

We ate:

  • Chicken mouse tart with bacon-tomato relish (compliments of the chef)
  • Foie gras with finely diced mango and guava (the foie gras looked like a grilled pork chop, the mango and guava like corn and carrots!)
  • Brioche rolls with a roasted tomato butter (at least I think it was “roasted” tomato)
  • A field greens salad with candied pecans, dried blueberries, a Spanish cabrales blue cheese, and a raspberry vinaigrette
  • Potato, parmesan, and leek soup with ramp oil and hot chili oil
  • Beef tenderloin topped with ramp butter
  • Roasted duck with a pomegranate sauce
  • Cheese plate with English toffee cheese and a wild berry compote

My only disappointment, and this is admittedly nitpicky, was the failure to specifically note on the menu the source of much of what was on our plate. After all, Bona Terra was named one of the top 100 farm-to-table restaurants by Gourmet, so I think Chef and owner Dennis Dick, now the three-time Chef of the Year according to Pittsburgh Magazine, owes it to his customers to be as explicit as possible about the local sources of the food being served.

We’re hoping to make Legume in Regent Square, another farm-to-table restaurant with a burgeoning reputation for fantastic food, for our next dinner out.

Oh, yeah
, I almost forgot: GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Troy said...

That's a good looking pie, makes me hungry when I look at it. Is the dough homemade?

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Absolutely. We have begun using 00 - double zero - flour from Italy, that we get at Penn Mac. True Neapolitan-style pizzas are apparently always made with 00, which is ground finer than standard bread dough.

And, I can honestly say, that there is a difference. The 00 still gives a nice crisp crust, but with a better chew factor than standard flour. In a year or two, we hope to build a brick pizza oven for our back patio. Instead of 6-minute pizzas with a touch of char, we could do 2-minute pizzas with the perfect char (with A LOT of practice, of course).

Thanks for the recommendation for urbanspoon. Added some reviews there, and will be trying to make some additional upgrades soon.

Personalized Pens said...

yeah! go pens!! My friend and I has some pizza delivered to my house(mind you one street over, just being lazy). The pizza was gross and the buffalo kickers were hard. i had called to complain and the manager had said to me"what would you like me to do". They were not going to refund the food and was RUDE. Go to PAPA GINO'S up the road a little. Better off.

Frank & Carey said...

On Legume... GO THERE! Before you go, sign up for their e-mailing list. The 'cook' (as he calls himself) does an excellent job of staying up-to-date on the ever-changing menu. It's always a good quick read and it's guaranteed to make you hungry.

Promotional Pens said...

The pizza looks absolutely mouth watering!