Last year, several folks were too stuffed after the Saturday Feast to come to Brunch at Zingerman's. I hoped to remedy that this year by scheduling a lunch at noon - giving everyone a couple more hours to digest (and sleep!).
So - at noon, we assembled at Carrie Cerino's. Dominic Cerino outdid himself in allowing us to sample all of his most primo chow - including some of the amazing Copper River King Salmon he has flown to him directly from Cordova!
We started with Salumi Boards, which include items from Dominic, Armandino Batali, and other premium sources, together with cheese, nuts, dried fruits, and something new - fresh figs. Oh my!
The boards are served with fresh, hot foccachia bread pronounced delicious by our resident Bread Man, tino27, and little dishes containing olives, red peppers and olive oil.
The discussion of pork naturally brings us to the youngest EGulleteers to attend the weekend's festivities - the just-a-few-weeks-old Nolan and Reagan Powalchak (sires of Sheb) - and I had to get a photo of Nolan's shirt:
Next - Chef Dominic showed us a way to turn Escargot Platters into multitaskers! Behold - baked artichoke hearts:
Next, each diner received a Blue Egg Ravioli - which I didn't photograph, because I have before - but here is a photo from Edsel's album of what we were served today:
Dominic has improved a heavenly thing by moving the sage leaves into the ravioli. The yolk is left runny, and when you cut it open, you mix the ricotta-sage filling with the butter in the dish and the yolk - and then you mange!
Next up was a plate of Panzanella Salad for each diner - a delightful melange of heirloom tomatoes, cheese, house-made bread, micro-arugala and light dressing.
This was followed by the Blue Egg Carbonara with home-made Guanciale; all spaghetti at Carrie Cerino's is made in house from scratch:
The next dish - Umbrian Lentils with Red Pepper Guanciale and House-Made Sausage, and studded with more of that awesome Foccachia!
Next - Berkshire Pork Piccata - kissed with a light but deep sauce made with love!
The next dish - Veal Tosca - is an older creation from Dominic - it was my entree the very first time I ate at Carrie Cerino's. I haven't had it since, because every time I go there, there are always new or even more extra special things to try! A tender slice of veal is breaded with Blue Eggs and Cheese and sauteeed with lemon, and the result is fabulous:
In the meantime, Dominic was kind enough to provide a plate of Eggplant Parmesan and Pasta Marinara for Dance, who is a fairly strict vegetarian:
Instead of finishing our feast with Vialone Nano Pestelli Risotto, which was on the menu (and which, it turned out, got forgotten in the kitchen in all of the tumult), two additional items were brought out to our table. First, one of my absolute favorites - a dish Dominic created for the Northern Ohio Slow Food Convivium Slow Food Dinner last year- pulled pork cannelloni, topped with a beautiful tomato sauce and fresh ricotta.
At this point, I put my camera away because we could not eat another bite, and were filling "leftovers" boxes with these wonderful goodies. But then Dominic again appeared, bearing gifts- he had frozen some of his precious Copper River Kings (the season ended early in July) and grilled up fillets for us. Neither Edsel nor I got a photo, but I'm sure that someone did. I thought, I may not eat again for a week!
But I knew that dessert was coming - Blue Egg-Hazelnut Gelato. Again - I didn't get a photo of this one (though there are photos of other CC's gelato in the Carrie Cerino's thread). This one was served with Italian Cookies and a dollop of fresh chocolate.
After we finished our dessert - and after some discussion confirming that this was the correct thing to do - I passed the Ceremonial Torch of the EGullet Heartland Gathering (well, actually, an empty gelato glass) to Ronnie Suburban - who has volunteered to lead Chicago in hosting our intrepid band of diners for next year's Gathering. Thank you Ronnie!
Though we had planned to lead the minions to Taste of Tremont after this meal, everyone agreed that we were just too stuffed to even consider it (and some folks needed to get on the road). White Lotus volunteered to lead an excursion to a tea store she discovered across the street from the West Side Market, and a bunch of folks decided to join her.
Bob and I were just too pooped to party anymore (well - me anyway - Bob is outside in the garden pulling weeds as I type this).
I want to thank everyone involved in helping to make this weekend a success. There are too many to name individually - though I will single out Steve Sikorski (Mr. Luckygirl) for getting the dishwasher back on line Saturday night and sparing us two hours of washing dishes by hand, and Angie Vacca, who never heard of EGullet before, but may be joining us soon - for getting this wonderful space for us!
See you all in Chicago next year, I hope!
Edited by NancyH, 23 July 2007 - 04:24 PM.