Sunday, August 12, 2007

"bits and morsels"


"Bits and Morsels" by Jordana Z, is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs:

That’s amore. In 1955, Vincenzo Lamanna opened the Isle of Capri, a charming little cafe on 60th and Third Avenue to serve light Italian fair to neighborhood clientele. When his loyal customers were hungry for more, his wife Maria would cook up a storm and bring down plates of her homemade pastas and meats.

Vincenzo and Maria Lamanna
Eventually, Vincenzo Lamanna began to serve full lunches and dinners at the Isle and today the restaurant is owned and run by their daughter Jane Lamanna, who's warm and sweet disposition makes customers feel like family.

I have been to many holiday parties in the grotto and the atmosphere (decorated with sculptures and tiles with the Lamanna name) coupled with the food takes me away to the Isle of Capri in Italy! The menu comprises Italian standards such as prosciutto with melon, pasta primavera, and a caprese salad which I especially love in the summer when tomatoes are in season.

I almost forgot: Thank you to everyone who voted this week! All of the restaurants received a ton of votes and I will be reviewing all of them in the coming weeks, so do not fret.
The Isle of Capri
The Menu from 1955. Check out the prices!
The Grotto
The main dining room
Bruschetta
Caprese salad with roasted peppers
Grilled mushrooms
Pasta primavera
The dessert cart
Cookies to signal the completion of our meal
Sticky fingers. Olive oil fraud is very common in Italy. Domenico Ribatti, who owns the olive oil supply company Riolio, has made a large fortune by cutting olive oil with hazelnut and myriad oils and supplying the 'dirty' oil to Nestle, Bertoli and other large corporations. Genuine extra virgin olive oil is very expensive and like all illicit substances, there is a black market for it. If someone were to question the origin of their olive oil, they would need to launch and fund an investigation of their own. You do the math. [The New Yorker]

Slicing the finished product into smaller breakfast-sized sections. [The Champagne of Blogs]
No matter how hard you try to avoid it sometimes you just get trapped for lunch in an area where your only options are a Pret a Manger, Starbucks or a cellophane wrapped EAT sandwich. British Chef Mark Hix consulted with Marks & Spencer on their sandwich line and did a taste test comparing all 4 brands. He tested BLT’s, egg salad, and cheese sandwiches. The results: EAT and Pret a Manger took the cake; surprisingly, Starbucks Free Range Egg Mayo egg salad was a winner too. [Bloomberg]

This is fascinating to me and I don’t even eat bacon. The Champagne of Blogs is a food blog that recreates homemade versions of store bought foods. If you ever wondered about the who, what, and where of bacon, check out this post. There are detailed photos and explanations every step of the way. [The Champagne of Blogs]

The next time you order in food, be generous with your tips. Many deliverymen are exploited by the restaurants they represent, and make less than minimum wage under horrendous work conditions. So, tip well!! [New York Magazine] & [The Daily News]

A good reason to love the month of August (besides for those lovable Leos) is that it’s the month of the peach. Nothing says summer like a fresh juicy peach warmed by the rays of the sun. My favorite peach fix comes from Frog Hollow; they sell all types of stone fruit but the peaches are my absolute favorite (and also make for a great house gift). The peaches usually arrive under-ripe but a day on the kitchen counter will ripen them. [Frog Hollow]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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