torrisi italian specialties pleased my sensibilities

May 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

dinner date (brother Malcolm)
My dinner date and my brother, Malcolm

Because this is the first time I’ve done something like this, and I’m not secure enough with my prose to break the ice with a full-fledged review that casually ambles, meanders, and critiques its way through a meal (or several), I’m going to cop out with a couple of lists instead.

Some notes:

1. Booking 2-3 staggered seatings before doors open every night, for a daily-changing prix-fixe menu is a good way to build anticipation for diners while maintaining absolute creative and administrative control of the kitchen.

2. Mozzarella di bufala is not the only way to serve an unfettered ball of cheese. A far more synerized and chewy, but still juicy ball of warm, home-made mozz can also wow. Especially bathing in milk thistle cream and a nutty evoo.

3. Celery salt and sugar pop surprisingly well in a cookie. Try this at home.

4. A heap of chopped parsley is not enough to cut through a cloying cacciatore. Something fresher, more floral, maybe slightly acidic, is in order.

And some questions:

1. What gave the sumptious dirty duck ragu its lightness? Was it the SarVecchio?  And while we’re on it, what makes a duck ragu dirty? The liver? Other duck offal in it? Another animal’s fat?

2. When you’ve got a perfectly cooked veal neck in an onion-sweet, tangy, umami-rich, and truly symphonic broth, why serve it with a kitschy Italian flag side plate of three vivid, but overpowering and conflicting sauces? Why not let the more interesting and delicate work of the braise speak for itself?

A bit to think about. A couple of new things to try adapting in the coming weeks at home.

torrisi menu


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