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hhlodesign

eG Foodblog: HhLodesign - On Food and Architecture

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I'm trying to pick a favourite from the Mistral, but I just can't. That's when you know you've had an excellent meal.

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:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

henry, thanks so much for the mistral dinner pics. They're just what a girl needs to cheer her up after a long winter fighting the good fight here in NY. I miss that kitchen so much!!! But somebody ought to tell charles to wipe that silly grin off his face. Hey william-will henry be whipping up a little bean sprout rissotto tonight? Commis, you've been warned.

big ups

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Wicked look in to your city, definetly some places to remember if I am ever there!

I must say though, that one of my fondest memories of Florence was going to Il Latini...I Still remember what we had, and the great couple from australia we sat next to!

Good stuff!

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Oleana is one of our favorite restaurants in Boston.  My daughter was in grad school at Harvard & whenever we visited her, we went to Oleana, including the day she graduated!  Ana Sortun is very innovative & we highly recommend Oleana.

Ask your daughter about the Scorpion Bowl at the Hong Kong! That's I place I plan on returning to this next trip out.

She admitted to quaffing a few but most remembers the place for the salsa nights (??) ...

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hey, henry- just saw the bit about your upcoming trip to boston. That's my hometown and I truly believe that it is the great unsung food city in the US. The "short" list:

for fancy schmancy:

Radius (my alma mater)

L'Espalier

Pigalle (Mark Orfaly, great place)

No. 9 Park (barbara lynch, not my favorite, but everyone else's)

Spire

Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton (If you want Crepes Suzette tableside)

Clio (just go)

Craigie Street Bistro (in Cambridge, a favorite of boston cook's)

for wine+nibbles

Toro (Ken Oringer's new spanish winebar-very Bar Jamon, but with lots of good food)

Troquet

the bar at Excelsior

B+G Oysters and/or the Butcher Shop (both Barbara Lynch ventures. B+G gets my vote for coolest joint in boston. And they have fried clams)

Uni (Ken Oringer's sashimi bar inside Clio. Rad.)

for lunch:

L at Louis Boston (which is also the coolest clothing store in boston-like a less corporate version of Barney's-I think you'd dig it.)

for breakfast:

joanne chang's Flour Bakery is Awesome, and it anchors the South End restaurant district (which alone contains at least twenty great restaurants that I've failed to include here)

Chinatown

Ginza is great for sushi, Jumbo is awesome chinese seafood and open till 4am (get the "special tea"), I absolutely love Appollo, my fave, for sushi and korean barbecue, and really good bibimbap (4am also). also, boston's ctown has some of the best vietnamese food in the country for CHEAP.

Which reminds me-Elephant Walk is great Cambodian/French-they do this chicken/cabbage/peanut salad which is like a World's Great Dish

for binge drinking:

Bukowski's

Silvertone (the cook's choice. go in after midnight and you can eavesdrop on all the industry buzz you want)

Allston/Brighton (the neighborhoods-there's this joint called Silhouette in Brighton...)

And, you've got to swing by the north end for a few hours. And check out the haymarket if you're there on a Saturday..............

Take that New York!

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What an incredible dinner! Not only does all the food look amazing, but it's obvious that everyone present had a wonderful time.

The pork I believe was done sous vide, as discussed here. Never tried it myself, but the techno geek in me finds the whole topic fascinating.

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Juan, the dishwasher.

gallery_28660_2679_39113.jpg

Every great restaurant has a great dishwasher ...

Thank you, Henry, for acknowledging the great unsung hero of the restaurant world, the dishwasher.

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Seattle Sandwich Tour Stop #6

Cascioppo's

I had to be at Mistral at 1pm today, so I thought I'd pick up some sandwiches for the guys. After writing about Langer's in LA, I was craving pastrami. Cascioppo's features pastrami made by Peter Glick from Brooklyn, NY.

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They actually feature all kinds of wonderful meat products.

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But for me, its all about the pastrami.

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I actually ordered 6 different sandwiches.

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Pastrami Reuben, Corned Beef Reuben, Mixed Reuben, Pastrami on Rye, Corned Beef on Rye, Mixed on Rye.

I grabbed half of the Mixed Reuben.

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It was sufficiently salty, but was light on the Thousand Island. I thought the bread should have been grilled more as well. I still enjoyed it though.

I had half of the Pastrami and rye as well.

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Again, not enough mustard and bread not grilled enough. A bit to dry, but still better than any other pastrami in the city.

I think I was spoiled by Langer's in LA so my pastrami standards are a bit high. I would like to try some real NY Deli pastrami soon. Maybe on my next trip out. Even still, the guys all appreciated the sandwiches.

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Now it was time to get to work.

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I thought a reuben was just pastrami and swiss cheese. They put Thousand Island dressing on it? Can anyone tell me if that's standard, and if so, since when? (Frankly, I don't eat reubens, anyway. I don't keep kosher, but pastrami and cheese just seems wrong, and frankly, I can't imagine it would make my sandwich at Katz's better -- sorry to rub it in, Henry. :biggrin:)

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i think it is traditionally russian dressing with sauerkraut and swiss cheese, but i could be wrong and i'm sure there are a thousand varieties. dee-lish

sorry to see the end of this blog!

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Thank you H, for a thousand glimpses into a world not my own. Remarkable in its angles and curves, splendid in its dining and friendship, and of another plane than I live on.

You young folks do beat all.

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After lunch, the front of house staff bagan cleaning up our mess from last night. It looked as though a tornado had hit the dining room.

Charles checked the fridges to see if anything beyond produce would need to be bought for the evening dinners.

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Then we walked down the the Pike Place Market to go shopping.

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Mistral, as well as numerous local restaurants, have an account at Frank's. So you see chefs shopping there all the time.

Charles deosn't actually plan a menu out. He just looks and see what is fresh and buys accordingly. He says they never really write anything out. It's all improv.

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There's Frank filling someone's bag.

They have some beautiful product at Frank's that photographs really well.

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We had 6 covers for tonight. Here's everything that Charles bought for them.

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Frank bagged it for us.

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He was generation #4. They've been a part of the Pike Place Market for 27 years. I wonder what his first kid's name is going to be?

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Then we walked back to the restaurant.

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Prep begins buy laying out everything we bought.

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While Charles lighted the burners.

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Here's all their pans.

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Yes, they're all Emerilware.

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Charles started me off by picking herbs.

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They wanted just leaves, no stems. I did parsely, thyme, basil, dill, and taragon.

We made the parsley into a juice by flash wilting it in a really hot pan.

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shocking it with ice to set the color. Then bending it for a long time. Then we poured it into small squeeze bottles. Tho color is gorgeous!

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Charles made some apple crisps. (Abra, these are your sand dollars!) He slices the apple really thin on a mandoline.

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cuts perfect circles out and soaks them in a simple syrup solution.

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They use 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Then they set thm on a silpat to dry in the oven. Very low heat. Charles said the heat from the pilot is enough.

Then we juiced some limes and added some zest to the juice.

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They like to mix a few key limes in with regular limes.

We then started the potatoes puree. This reciped William got directly from David Bouley. It's a take on Potatoes Robuchon, but they use fingerling potatoes becasue we can't get ratte potatoes here in Seattle.

We cut the fingerlings into small blocks and set them in simmering (not boiling!) water. Once they're tender, we run them through a food mill.

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Then its back on the heat to add the butter. Plugra that is.

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Charles doesn't measure. He said you want to add unitl you can taste the butter.

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Here's what's left of the butter.

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The final step is to strain the puree through one of those cone shaped strainers (forgo tthe name). The finished product is rich, creamy, buttery, and wonderful.

The dining room manager, Rene, even came back to help us shuck peas.

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He was well dressed for the job.

I had to peel and juice carrrots, beets, and celery.

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We put some soy lecithin in the carrot and celery juice. They use it to make froths (bubbles).

We reduced the beet juice on the stove for some kind of future sauce.

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Love the colors!

With all the prep work done, we ened up outside playing stick ball.

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And Charles showed me how to sharpen my knife on a stone.

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It turns out that the 2 reservations (4 top and a deuce) were not confirmed. We knew this going into the day, but had to prep just in case. Mistral gets walk ins, but not often. we waited until 7:30pm to see if any walk ins would come in. Maybe everyone heard that an amateur would be in the kitchen. We think it also had something to do with the University of Washington Huskies playing the UConn Huskies at 7pm that night. The streets were deserted at 7pm. William shut it down at 7:30. 2 minutes after everyone left, William and I were locking up, a deuce walked in the front door. "What do you think," William asked, "Can you cook for these guys on your own?" He was kidding of course, the whole front of house staff ad already gone. He had to turn them away.

William says they have maybe 3 nights out of the year that they have no one come in. Just my luck, and yours, that I pick one of those nights.

I going to try and get in tonight and get some pictures before my dinner at Nishino. They have 5 tables on the books.

Here's the service bell I never got to ring.

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Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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My favorite from your Mistral dinner is that sand dollar cookie.  Or was it a biscuit?  That's very clever.

Henry, you are now officially tied with Jamie Maw for the "prettiest friends as portrayed in a blog" award.

It's an honor just to be nominated! :wink:

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:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

henry, thanks so much for the mistral dinner pics.  They're just what a girl needs to cheer her up after a long winter fighting the good fight here in NY.  I miss that kitchen so much!!!  But somebody ought to tell charles to wipe that silly grin off his face.  Hey william-will henry be whipping up a little bean sprout rissotto tonight?  Commis, you've been warned.

big ups

Hey Skye!!!

Your response came in right when I was in the kitchen plucking herbs. Everyone crammed into the back office to read it. I should have gotten a picture. Glad to see you're holding up out there in NY. I'll have to come say hi soon.

To everyone else, Skye went from Mistral to one of the most prestigious kitchens in New York. She incredibly talented!

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hey, henry-  just saw the bit about your upcoming trip to boston.  That's my hometown and I truly believe that it is the great unsung food city in the US.  The "short" list:

for fancy schmancy:

Radius (my alma mater)

L'Espalier

Pigalle (Mark Orfaly, great place)

No. 9 Park (barbara lynch, not my favorite, but everyone else's)

Spire

Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton (If you want Crepes Suzette tableside)

Clio (just go)

Craigie Street Bistro (in Cambridge, a favorite of boston cook's)

for wine+nibbles

Toro (Ken Oringer's new spanish winebar-very Bar Jamon, but with lots of good food)

Troquet

the bar at Excelsior

B+G Oysters and/or the Butcher Shop (both Barbara Lynch ventures.  B+G gets my vote for coolest joint in boston.  And they have fried clams)

Uni (Ken Oringer's sashimi bar inside Clio.  Rad.)

for lunch:

L at Louis Boston (which is also the coolest clothing store in boston-like a less corporate version of Barney's-I think you'd dig it.)

for breakfast:

joanne chang's Flour Bakery is Awesome, and it anchors the South End restaurant district (which alone contains at least twenty great restaurants that I've failed to include here)

Chinatown

Ginza is great for sushi, Jumbo is awesome chinese seafood and open till 4am (get the "special tea"), I absolutely love Appollo, my fave, for sushi and korean barbecue, and really good bibimbap (4am also).  also, boston's ctown has some of the best vietnamese food in the country for CHEAP. 

Which reminds me-Elephant Walk is great Cambodian/French-they do this chicken/cabbage/peanut salad which is like a World's Great Dish

for binge drinking:

Bukowski's

Silvertone (the cook's choice.  go in after midnight and you can eavesdrop on all the industry buzz you want)

Allston/Brighton (the neighborhoods-there's this joint called Silhouette in Brighton...)

And, you've got to swing by the north end for a few hours.  And check out the haymarket if you're there on a Saturday..............

Take that New York!

Wow! thanks again Skye. I might have to prolong my trip. I'm only going for 4 days you know.

You should do a blog. I'd love to hear about your work experiences!

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What an incredible dinner! Not only does all the food look amazing, but it's obvious that everyone present had a wonderful time.

The pork I believe was done sous vide, as discussed here. Never tried it myself, but the techno geek in me finds the whole topic fascinating.

You're right. William wrote down the dishes for me. I guess I lost a space in there some where. I gotta try the technique. It's a lovely way to cook.

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Juan, the dishwasher.

gallery_28660_2679_39113.jpg

Every great restaurant has a great dishwasher ...

Thank you, Henry, for acknowledging the great unsung hero of the restaurant world, the dishwasher.

I have to say, after working in the kitchen for a night, I found out that Juan is much more than a dishwasher. That guy jumps in and does everything. Chopping, picking herbs, juicing, anything they need a hand with, Juan does. Plus the dishes. He really is invaluable to the kitchen.

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Charles deosn't actually plan a menu out. He just looks and see what is fresh and buys accordingly. He says they never really write anything out. It's all improv.

Wow, there's no way I could shop like that, especially at somewhere with as much gorgeous-looking produce as your market - if I don't come with a list, I'll walk out with everything that caught my eye, having spent an entire month's food budget, and with more ingredients than I know what to do with!

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My favorite films about food:

Babette's Feast - A classic. It truely displays the joys that a great meal can bring. Both in the cooking and eating of it.

Big Night - This is the one I appreciate most as an architect. The first scene sets the scene perfectly. "But, she already has a starch!, maybe I should make for her also a side of mashed potatoes!" To me the film is about the struggle to stay true to your art in the face of a mass audience that does not underestand or appreciate your work. The chef must hold to his principles knowing that there are people who "get it." Again, the cream always rises to the top. BTW, anyone else see the parallel between Big night and the Apple / Microsoft rivalry? Huge souless place across the street (Pasqual's) doing derrivitive product and huge business, while the artisans on our side of the street are struggling. The final omelet making scene (one unbroken shot) when the brothers make up is one of the best final shots in all of film. I love that film!

Dinner Rush - One night in a Tribecca Italian restaurant. The father who opened the place is transitioning it to his son. Dad just wants his peppers and onions, while son is doing haute cuisine, (or the hollywood take on it; that lobster thing he did looked ridiculous!) I've never worked in a New York restaurant before, but it seems to capture the atmosphere pretty well.

Tampopo - The search for the perfect bowl of ramen. My favorite is the opening scene when the "master" is teaching his student the proper tecnique for eating ramen.

Eat Drink Man Women - A moving story by Ang Lee about a father and a chef who is losing his sense of taste. Drawing parallels, I think, between his sense of control and connection with his daughters. The cooking scenes are really well done.

What's Cooking - From the director of Bend it Like Beckham. It's about four different families celebrating Thanksgiving in Los Angeles; vietnamese, black, jewish, and mexican. This film very effectively highlights the cultural similarities and diffences between four seemingly distinct cultures in suburban LA. Very well done.

Goodfellas - OK, its not a food film; but that shot of cutting garlic with the razor blade so that it melts right into the pan....That's pure cinema magic!

What am I missing?


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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Ask your daughter about the Scorpion Bowl at the Hong Kong! That's I place I plan on returning to this next trip out.

I must say that you have very eclectic taste :biggrin:

Jim

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My friends Aaron and Stacy have been giving me a bit of a hard time for my making some snide vegetarian comments on this blog.

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I don't think I did. "Thou doth protest too much," was my reply. But I digress. We decided to go to a great little vegetarian place in Madison Valley called Cafe Flora and give them some equal time. They have a beautiful sunlit atrium that is just the perfect place to have brunch on sunny weekend morning.

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We started with some nice refreshing mango mimosos.

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Then split some Beignets

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They were served with powdered sugar, mango coulis, and vanilla creme anglaise.

I wanted to stay on the light side, planning for the omakese diner at Nishino tongiht, but the Biscuits and Gravy just looked too tempting.

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Rosemary biscuits, root vegetable and soy sausage gravy with scrambled eggs. The rosemary biscuits were amazing. I don't even think they needed the soy sausage in the gravy.

Aaron had the Logan Scramble

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Scrambled eggs, soy sausage, spinach, BBQ sauce, and Havarti cheese.

I don't get why vegetarians eat the "fake meat" products. I find it unnessesary. If you truely don't want to eat meat, why bother with an imitation of something you don't like in the first place. Again, didn't need the soy sausage, it still would have been good.

Stacy's dish was the favorite of the table. Hoppin' John Fritters

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Savory black eyed pea cakes, spicy cayenne aioli, roasted red pepper and corn relish, smoked mushroom collard greens and cheesy grits. Perfect texture to the cakes (they were deep fried!) and the cayenne aioli was awesome!


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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Ask your daughter about the Scorpion Bowl at the Hong Kong! That's I place I plan on returning to this next trip out.

I must say that you have very eclectic taste :biggrin:

Jim

I must say, for me, some experiences are more about the company than the taste of the food (or drink, for that matter.) I'll touch on this later when I try to wrap this thing up.

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Holy cow, all that shopping and prep then no customers? That's really rough. Can you say more about the lecithin froth? Just stir some into the raw juice, heat it, or what?

I am so making those sand dollars!

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Ask your daughter about the Scorpion Bowl at the Hong Kong! That's I place I plan on returning to this next trip out.

I must say that you have very eclectic taste :biggrin:

Jim

I must say, for me, some experiences are more about the company than the taste of the food (or drink, for that matter.) I'll touch on this later when I try to wrap this thing up.

No need to touch on it later, that was an inside joke of sorts. For those who have never had a Scorpion Bowl, imagine a Long Island Iced Tea on steriods.

Jim

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[...]I don't get why vegetarians eat the "fake meat" products. I find it unnessesary.[...]

I'm a bit surprised you feel that way, because there is some terrific mock-meat in traditional cooking for Chinese Buddhists. You don't enjoy any of those mock-meats from time to time?

[Edited to eliminate a portion I thought better of.]


Edited by Pan (log)

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    • By Christy Martino
      Ciao!
       
      I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days.
       
      And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great.
       
      Grazie mille!
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