Sunday, October 02, 2005

Urban flight

So it was a challenge: come up with a menu for tonight that represents the very urban-ness of my loft. For my first big dinner here, cook up stuff that fits with the brick walls and steel pipes and screaming fire engines and guns blasting and construction trucks making their daily morning racket. Okay, maybe not so much the guns and the fire engines, but you get the picture. This food cannot be tame. It has to zing, it has to, according to commenters, pile high and fuse market flavors. It has to have street character and restaurant sophistication.

So I decided to take myself to the Italian neighborhoods of New York. Pile on the cannelloni, the cannoli, but make it modern! Spice it up! And fuse it – bring in the wasabi, the Serrano and Fresno peppers, the lemongrass, the lavender.

I turned on the TV last night and there on Bravo, I hear the familiar music of the Godfather. Perfect. Let my work begin. Here’s the menu. Eight mains, four desserts, twenty people. Let’s see if anything comes of it.

Grilled figs with Fantome goat cheese, honey and rosemary

Crostini with gingered beef and wasabi flavored crème fraiche

Flatbread with assorted roasted peppers, hot chiles, scallions and mild cheese

Gougeres with aged Parrano cheese

Diced heirloom tomatoes with Chianti Classico olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and slivers of Parmesan

Cannelloni with grilled zucchini, shrimp and thyme butter

Puff pastry with caramelized onion

Grilled shrimp on lemongrass skewers with Asian lime sauce

Key lime tarts with toasted meringue

Chocolate cigarettes

Orange cannoli with coffee mascarpone filling

Baked moonglow pears and berries, with lavender flower topping

Madison Oct 05 019
always start with the dessert