Friday, September 20, 2013
I love spaghetti carbonara BUT don’t order it here. You come here for the antipasti. A myriad of delicious, most of it sitting in excellent olive oil awaiting you to snap it up and add it to your plate of over zealous appetizers, awaits just inside the 100 year old doors off Campo di Fiori. My father has been known to make 4 or 5 trips up to the antipasti bar. From artichokes to figs to eggplant, the staples are all there. Eight types of fresh cheese. A whole sub-table for salumi. Hot dishes like anchovies sit above the table on a shelf. Everywhere you turn there is a giant serving dish with another tantalizing treat. You try and pace yourself but the assault on your senses is overwhelming. You snap up items and place them on your over full plate until your forearm muscles are so strained you fear dumping your treasure all over the ancient burgundy carpet. Not the move you want in a place like this. We remind ourselves, we can make another trip. We settle back at the table where some vino de casa has been poured. This is when the sharing and conversation begin. We all check out each others food loot jealous of what we missed but more than willing to offer bites off our plates to the rest of the table. This is commonplace in restaurants in Italy which is why I grew up with this as common in my living room. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Sunday, you name it, there is always an antipasti round in the Anello house. Eat. Share. Relax. Repeat.
Piazza Campo Dè Fiori, 23, 00186 Rome, Italy
+39 06 686 4783
Friday, September 13, 2013
Perfectly fried chicken. After all that’s what it is. In this country we think of fried chicken as a totally different thing. In Italy they think of fried chicken as an equally indulgent dish. Although I have a love for american style nothing beats the Italian’s pounded, double breaded and quickly fried version. Notice the carbonara to right accompanying this particular lunch we had in Taormina. After a half day exploring this Sicilian cliff town you’re ready to belly up at Gambero where the menu reads like a top 10 list of southern Italian staples. All of them are done to perfection but the fried chicken cutlet is numero uno. After this you are ready to tackle the ancient greek theater. Mind you, a quick hit of gelato might be needed to snap you out of food coma.
Ristorante Gambero Rossomore
Via Naumachia, 11
98039 Taormina, Italia
+39 0942 24863
Friday, September 6, 2013
Sicily is awesome for more reasons than I could explain if I wrote a post a day for a year. The nine inch squid shoot that lies across my plate above soaking in the very best sicilian olive oil like a lost treasure sitting in a post-thunderstorm puddle was pulled from the ocean 30 minutes before it hit my belly. The only other thing on the plate was a lemon wedge. Salt and pepper were detectable but in trace amounts simply because the freshness could handle all the talking. That talking being the loud, hand flailing Italian style witnessed throughout all of Sicily and the main land boot as well. What was this calamari, as the Italian’s call it, saying to me? It was firm in it’s position that recipes should be simple, local and fresh. That’s the triple threat you see in so much Italian cooking.
The squid elaborated while on my tongue. “I’m-a fresh. I grew up just-a down the shore-a there, see.” My throat heard it say “I kissa the grill-a for four-a minutes and look how-a good I turned out.” By the time it got to my stomach I heard, “A touch-a of acid-a from the lemona brought out my flavor and that olive oil gave it a track-a to travel on. Finito!” I listened to that squid the rest of the trip as it’s sound advice lead me to find the best Sicilian food from Palermo to Taoromina to RUINS to Marsala. Bravo Mr. F. Calamari. Thanks for the chat.
Trattoria Al Pescatore (It’s now called Il Pirata)
San Stefano di Camestra, Sicily, Italy
Friday, March 8, 2013
That’s what I thought after my first visit to this city. Each subsequent visit always reenforces this desire. Barcelona’s bright culture, food, architecture and people can’t help but become infectious. In Barcelona the creativity is loose, curvy, spontaneous, random and risky. Spain as a whole is creative, partially a bi-product of a country that’s seen it’s share of strife and hardship, with everything they do. With a different flair than Italy and a slightly less structured approach than the Dutch, the Spanish have cultivated a culture that emanates energy, passion and excitement for life. Barcelona is the modern Spanish city that best allows visitors to embrace and experience this. I recently spent a solid week in Barcelona enjoying the 60 degree December weather, eating the freshest seafood around and finding creative inspiration in every building, museum or meal…Continue reading...
Monday, February 25, 2013
Every once in a while the timing works out so we can share a kitchen with some of our closest collaborators. Two weeks ago I found myself in the kitchen with long time friend and chef, Ben Long. His recent trip to Italy and my heritage spawned an idea to create a traditional Italian feast served in the traditional Italian sequence. More on that down the page a bit. With the help of a few specialty items Ben smuggled back from his trip, some surprise ingredients brought in by John “Chu” Churillo and a morning trip to the Asian farmers market in San Francisco, we were prepared to do my namesake some solid justice.
For those who are unfamiliar with our dinners, Forking Tasty’s Suppers is our attempt to bring back dinnertime by seating a bunch of strangers around a table to share some food, conversation and laughter. For this one we flew out west to spread the love at SPICE Supper clubs 8-seat chefs table.
As each guest arrived they were greeted with an immediate sense of home. From the wooden gate they walked through to enter the space, through the softly lit garden and up the stairs into the victorian foyer, each guests arrival procession prepared them for the homey atmosphere that awaited them in the dining room. As the first guests sipped their welcome drink waiting for the remainder of their dining partners to arrive, the kitchen was busy preparing…Continue reading...
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Location: San Francisco (exact location will be released to reserved guests)
Donation: $80 (make a reservation below)
Spice and Forking Tasty unite once again for a one night only, chef’s table, Italian celebration. Drawing from Ben and Jason’s extensive travels through Italy they’ll present a 7-course meal that’s sure to keep you guessing what’s next. Following the traditional style of Italian suppers you’ll work your way through an unexpected series of dishes, flavors and presentation. Drawing on northern, southern and foreign influences the meal will be an over-the-top tour for your tastebuds and emotions alike. We’ll also pair select Italian and Californian wines that match the dinners flavor progression from small to big. This one comes with major bragging right so grab a seat while you can.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
According to us of course! It occurred to me last week that Forking Tasty has never jumped on the top 10 list or the trends of year thing. I thought this year is the year we do both so without further preamble here’s what the whole Tasty family thinks you should look out for in 2013…
Monday, October 22, 2012
It’s very rare that we pull off a dinner that has such direct connection between the location and the film we’re screening. This was that kind of perfect storm. I moved into my office on 34th and fifth about two years ago. Day two I wandered up to the roof and saw the Empire State Building looking down on me. To my left was the perfect movie screen (found on the side of the building just south). From that moment I’ve been working with the Wework crew, the owners of the building, to make this event happen. A few weeks ago my vision of Dinner with King Kong under the Empire State Building became a reality.
For those who are unfamiliar with our dinners, Reel Tasty is Forking Tasty’s summer supper club where we screen a movie on a 2 story building while our guests sample some of our latest and tastiest gourmet creations. For this one we decided to pick some of our favorite NYC neighborhoods to inspire the cuisine. Although we screened the original 1933 film, no CGI for us, we chose recipes that…Continue reading...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Starts: 6:30pm (cocktails and appetizers)
Ends: 11pm (really, when the film is over)
Donation: $65 (make a reservation below)
Movie: Roman Holiday
Our next dinner in the Italian Season is a pure classic. How could you go wrong with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Italy circa 1953? Rhetorical. You can’t! With that we are pulling out many of our family favorites from both the Italy and the New York archives. We’ve spent a significant amount of time in Lazio and plan on giving you the full Roman treatment straight from the pages of our travel journal and family albums. My grandfather is from a small town just south of Rome named Fondi. No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at the old citrus farm they had down there. Expect a little influence from this little town in the menu. Hopefully the food and the film will inspire you to take your own Roman Holiday soon. There is no line at the vatican in early December. Shhhh.
Our menu focuses on the cuisine of Lazio with a heavy influence on Roman modern favorites. No gladiator inspired dishes we promise. One of my father’s favorite parts of eating in Rome is the antipasti spread you find in many restaurants. We’ll do our best to recreate this help-yourself-style table of treats. That will be followed by 4 more courses that continue the edible delight through one of the greatest ancient cities in the world. Come hungry but pace yourself, this will be a gut buster.
For those who have reserved: Location and directions will be sent to guests one day before the event. IF IT RAINS: If it rains, or looks like rain, the dinner is off. Decisions on weather will be made the morning of the event. All donations will be refunded at this time.
Jason and Anthony pair a 5 course gourmet meal for 20 friends, some new and some old on a HUGE deck in Brooklyn. As the name implies, we will be screening a movie during the meal. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of time pre-entree to mingle, catchup and meet some new friends. Once the sun goes down we will role the film in all its two story high glory. This is an experiment, so we are not sure how much silence or chatting will go on. That’s for you to decide. We hope you will come out and enjoy yourselves with us this summer. See you on the deck.
You can check out pics from our last dinner here.
If you can’t make this dinner but want us to send you an invite to the next one, jump on the list.Continue reading...
Friday, August 10, 2012
photo credit: Kun Kim
The season 4 opener of REEL TASTY was quite the oasis of an evening. It may have taken us a while to get going this year but we kicked off with a bang. The night itself was an unexpected 84 degree evening complete with a slight breeze. Sandwiched between two blistering hot weeks in July, we lucked out is an understatement.
For those who are unfamiliar with our dinners, Reel Tasty is Forking Tasty’s summer supper club where we screen a movie on a 2 story building while our guests sample some of our latest and tastiest gourmet creations. This year we twisted it up a little by…Continue reading...