Monday, August 31, 2009

Changing Times

heirloom tomatoes, late summer melons, red kuri squash, apples, sweet corn....There is a time of the year that summer starts to turn to fall, the chill when the sun goes down is noticeable, and some of the lands greatest bounties run into each other. Late summer produce meets early of the best combinations known to man.For a chef its the same feeling a die hard spots fan has for the time of the year that Football, Baseball & Basketball are all in full swing.

At the restaurant we are getting ready and testing our newest menu items for the season...New Menu release September 15th.

Late Summer Corn/Bombster Scallops(CT)/Spanish Chorizo/Wild Mushrooms/Cilantro

Braised Short Ribs/Fresh Horseradish Root/Rhode Island Potatoes/Candied Shallots

Red Kuri Squash Ravioli/Hazlenut Cream/Maple Syrup

Heirloom tomatoes/Melon/Narragansett Creamery Ricotta/Chickpeas

Risotto/Sage/Chanterelle/Crispy Sweetbread

Lobster Croquetes/ Succotash/Tarragon Oil

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

La Caja China

La Caja China makes its debut at Tastings soon. A box made to roast whole pigs "Cuban Style". With this grill you can not only slow-roast pork but whole poultry and large cuts of beef without first having to dig a pit. In fact the concept and design of this grill allows you to cook as if you were cooking in a pit. The pig goes in the box, and then is covered, the charcoal sits on top of the cover and cooks from above.

A 100lb pig in 4-6 hours! "Pig Skin Sundays" this year during New England Patriots home games(sundays only).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Local, Sustainable, Delicious: A Seasonal Celebration!

I have been asked to participate in a project this year called the 2009 New England Grow Out....we are going to get together for a night of fine food and drinks and your invited! read below for more information.

Local, Sustainable, Delicious: A Seasonal Celebration!
Honoring New England Farmers and Chefs

Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 6 PM
Regattabar at the Charles Hotel
1 Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Local, Sustainable, Delicious: A Seasonal Celebration! will celebrate the work of growers and chefs on the 2009 New England Grow Out – a project lead by Chefs Collaborative that promotes farm to chef relationships and promotes the agricultural history and culinary culture of New England!
Purchase Tickets

Enjoy small plates and drink from renowned chefs:

Peter Davis, Henrietta’s Table

Jody Adams & Nuno Alves, Rialto

Jason Bond, Beacon Hill Bistro

Jeff Fournier, 51 Lincoln

Rich Garcia, Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro

Will Gilson, Garden at the Cellar

Michael Leviton, Lumière

Evan Mallet, Black Trumpet Bistro

Tony Maws, Craigie on Main

Peter McCarthy, EVOO & Za restaurants

Bruce Tillinghast & Beau Vestal, New Rivers

Tim Wiechmann, TW Food

…and sweets from Canto 6 Bakery

Tickets are $100. Proceeds from the event benefit Chefs Collaborative, a leading nonprofit network of chefs that fosters a sustainable food system through advocacy, education, and collaboration with the broader food community. Purchase tickets online or call 617-236-5200 to pay by phone.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 Best Of Rhode Island (Best Macaroni & Cheese)

Just got word that we (Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro) just won the 2009 Best Of Rhode Island, Best Macaroni & Cheese! I know....I thought the same thing, we are located in MA not RI?! But award winning none the less. Thanks for the accolade Rhode Island!
If you haven't been to Tastings and tried our mac your missing out. Something so simple has become one of our most popular items. I still remember how much time we put into developing a recipe much more complicated than it needed to be. The final recipe......simple, so damn simple. We use the best ingredients we can find and call it a day. The end result......

Summer Truffle Macaroni & Cheese/Fresh Summer Truffles/Vermont Sharp Cheddar/Smoked Crumb Crust

modified version to make at home:1 serving

3/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup shredded Artisan Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 oz cooked mini penne pasta
1 oz black truffle juice
.25 oz fresh black truffles
salt & pepper to taste
- Place the heavy cream,shredded cheese,truffle juice over medium heat and allow the cream and the cheese to reduce by 1/4.Season with salt & pepper and TASTE for proper seasoning. Place the cooked pasta in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Once the cheese sauce is made add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss well. Place in a bowl and top with shaved black truffles.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recipe For Lobster Ceviche

A great weekend in Marthas Vineyard....My sous chef (my wife) actually kept me in check, making sure that everything was perfect, even kicking me off the "line" so that she could plate faster!

Many of you that were there asked for the recipe for the Lobster Ceviche. As promised here it is. Enjoy

Almond Gazpacho Sauce
50g White Seedless grapes
8g Almonds (peeled & blanched)
1 slice Country White bread (crust Removed)
5g Pine nuts
5g Peeled garlic clove
2g Kosher salt
10ml Spanish Sherry Vinegar
1g Fresh Cracked black pepper
400ml Purified Water
50ml Las Brisas Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Blend all ingredients together while you slowly drizzle the olive oil in a steady stream until well blended. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

1 portion Lobster Ceviche
50g Lobster tail
15g White seedless grapes
2g Cilantro
1g Micro Cilantro
1g Onion (red)
2g Red pepper jalapeño
250ml lime juice
Cracked black pepper
25ml White Gazpacho Sauce
-Season a pan of water with lemon & salt and bring to a boil.
Toss the lobster tails into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, until the
skins start to turn pink, but the inside is raw.
Remove shell and thinly slice the whole lobster tail
Place the lobster into a metal bowl and mix together the cilantro, red jalapenos, red onion
Season with lime juice
Place the lobster in the middle of a plate and drizzle the white gazpacho around the outside of the plate.
Serve with halved grapes and micro cilantro

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Art Of Food & Wine

Heading to Marthas Vineyard for the Divas Uncorked Food & WIne Festival. The event I will be participating in is The Art Of Food & Wine. My dish....Lobster Ceviche/Almond Gazpacho/Green Grapes/Local Micro Cilantro/Spanish EVOO....My sous chef this weekend........ my wife(Nicole) who in the past has proven that she can hang with the best of them on the event line .

We are paired with South American Chief Winemaker at MI TERRUÑO Winery, she continuously studies the conditions of Mendoza's terroirs and explores how they can be expressed in outstanding wines. Her main focus is the production of elegant wines with very good tipicity.

Lets hope some extra bottles of the Mi Terruno Chardonnay Reserva makes its way back across the Cape Cod Bay in a familiar cooler!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Local vs Quality vs Organic

At Tastings we pride ourselves in using local product grown and sourced sustainably. But when does the locavore movement take over and quality become a secondary thought?

What about Local vs Organic? which is actually better?

There are benefits to organic (nutritionally and environmentally), but there is a fault, transportation of the products around the world to meet the high demand.

Eating locally often means eating healthier, produce is the most nutritionally dense within three days of being picked, but the weakness is the use of synthetic fertilizers and chemicals that may be used at certain farms.

And quality......I believe in getting my guests the highest quality product that I can find. And if I have to go an extra 50 miles 100 miles, 1,000 miles to find the better product I will. As long as it falls into my guidelines of being sourced sustainably.

I try to follow this rule when purchasing

1) Local/Organic/Sustainable (75 miles)

2) Local/Sustainable (75 miles)

3) Regionally Local Organic/Sustainable (250 miles)

4) Regionally Local/Sustainable (250 miles)

5) Organic and/or Sustainable (from anywhere)

Think about it though....Iberico ham from Upstate New York??? NO, not a chance. But I make sure that I am buying a product that was treated humanley, or grown with the enviornment in mind.

Eating local means something different to all. A great definition comes from food advocate Joan Gussow:

“Within a day’s leisurely drive of our homes. [This] distance is entirely arbitrary. But then, so was the decision made by others long ago that we ought to have produce from all around the world.”

Monday, August 3, 2009 photos of recent tasting

Follow this link to see the pictures taken by Antoinette Bruno, Editor In Chief Photos Click Here
Starchefs was in about 3 weeks ago to conduct a tasting for the 2009 Boston Rising Star Chef Review.
I also had the pleasure of going to a blind tasting at Clio (Ken Oringer) in Boston with Antoinette Bruno and tasting the mixologist at Clios Bar with the editorial team from
Hope you like the photos.