Spinach-Pancetta Quiche

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Maggie is at it again. Yum. Real hungry people eat quiche, especially when it is full of sweet and salty panchetta and wholesome spinach.


Spinach-Pancetta Quiche


preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 cup chilled butter, cut into cubes

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup white wine

1 egg

1/4 cup olive oil


6 eggs

2 cups heavy cream

salt and pepper , to taste

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1/2 lb. pancetta, chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated

1/2 lb. fresh baby spinach

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade add flour, salt, and butter cut into cubes. Pulse until it resembles cornmeal. Add the wine , olive oil and egg. Blend until dough comes together. Remove from bowl and divide in half. Place one half wrapped in plastic in freezer for later use. With the other half, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Roll dough out to fit a 10 pie…

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The Possibilities of Pizza

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by Martha Esersky Lorden

Doesn’t every city in America have a Tony’s Pizza Parlor? Mine did. I have no idea if the proprietor was actually named Tony, but the restaurant was a fixture in my home town for decades. The pies were big and chewy rubber platters sporting a layer of glistening grease atop industrial mozzarella cheese. Heavy tomato sauce and dried oregano were also applied liberally. And I loved every bite. Frankly, everything at Tony’s tasted the same— the gummy spaghetti and meatballs, the soggy fried eggplant parmesan, and each variety of pizza. A favorite family restaurant, Tony’s was the only game in town when it came to pizza.

My pizza IQ rose significantly when I moved to Italy. The neighborhood pizzeria had a large glass window through which a tiled wood-fired oven glowed. The pizzaiolo put on a show while preparing the dough every morning. I watched him through the restaurant window regularly, and it was love at first sight. Our eyes met over clouds of flour as I watched him knead the soft spheres of fresh dough for their numerous rises. It’s difficult to say whether I was moony-eyed over the adorable Enzo or if it was the yeasty perfume that had simply gone to my head. His pizza was delicious, as was most all pizza I ate in Italy. I was particularly touched when one evening he brought a heart-shaped pizza to my table. I have a photo of it somewhere.


Pizza Margherita:  Classic Simplicity

The Appeal of Pizza

Romance aside, pizza is an iconic Italian dish, but today pizza pie is as American as apple pie. The statistical evidence is overwhelming: on average, individuals in the US eat about 46 slices per year—that’s 23 pounds of the stuff. Americans are piggy for pizza. With nearly 65,000 pizzerias in the nation, Americans are gulping down 350 pieces of ‘za every second. The national pizza market, according to Ezine, is a $30 billion industry. Americans are simply obsessed with pizza, which is no surprise. It fits in nicely with that popular American idea of food as fun and fast, as road food or weekend take-out party grub that goes down perfectly with beer or coke. It’s the ideal accompaniment to sports television and makes for easy clean-up in the dorm or man cave.

Culinarily speaking, however, pizza’s place in the American diet has been elevated from this stereotype. While the first pizza parlor opened in America in New York City in 1905, pizza today is no longer just a specialty food made by dough-tossing dudes in classic pizza joints. Fashioned by professionally trained chefs, stylish bistros, and home cooks, pizza is currently a highly adaptable food style, a culinary foundation for very good eats. On careful examination, pizza can be the perfect vehicle for nutrition, creativity, and artisanal quality dining.

Vince Guiffire Makes a Pizza

Pizzaiolo at work in NYC Pizza Parlor Circa 1950

Culinary History

pizza_historyIn its most basic form, pizza is a flatbread made of flour and water with Mediterranean origins. Bronze Age people ate pizza in the Veneto region of Italy. While on military campaigns in Phoenicia and Greece, Roman soldiers consumed a simple seasoned flatbread. 3215391860_0de82f93ac_oDuring the Middle Ages, peasants topped yeasted dough with herbs and olive oil, and Renaissance pizza eaters experimented with the newly arrived tomatoes from the Mondo Nuovo and cheese made from the milk of the imported Indian water buffalo. By the 18th century, peasants in Naples incorporated the tomato on their flatbread base, selling pizza as street food and eventually in shops along the streets. In time, the dish made its way to the Italian aristocracy when, 120 years ago, a pizza vendor by the name of Rafaele Esposito of Naples created the popular pizza Margherita for Italy’s Queen with its tri-colori of the nation’s flag in green basil, white cheese, and red tomatoes. Soon the various regions of Italy created their own signature versions of pizza celebrating local ingredients.



With the return of American GI’s after World War II, their penchant for pizza led to parlors in most every Italian-American neighborhood. Styles of pizza reflected a multitude of American regional preferences. So, who is to say what “real” pizza is? With so many genres, it is difficult to know. East coast cities like Boston boast a pizza that rivals the thin-crusted New York style. Many prefer Greek-style pizza with its thick, puffy, and chewy crust served in rectangles or as pies topped with feta, olives, green pepper, and onions. Sicilian style pizza, or sfincione, a doughy square-cut bread pizza topped with cheese and tomato, is baked on a sheet and requires two rises, not the one typical of most American pizzas. Then there is Chicago’s Deep Dish casserole pizza layered between a top and bottom crust and stuffed with pounds of sliced ham, sausage, several cheeses, vegetables, pepperoni, and a rich tomato sauce. Today, nearly every restaurant has a pizza or flatbread selection on the menu. Modern Italian restaurants in America have exquisite pizza ovens that reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit and are fired by carefully selected hardwoods that deliver the charcoal-flavored, thin and crunchy crust desired by today’s gourmet pizza diners. Rustic at heart, pizza is now a culinary tour de force.

Pizza has a global fan base that is growing, too. Many nations have adopted their cuisine to include pizza. International variations feature a Mochi-crusted Japanese pizza, a Turkish pizza on a round shell with meat sauce called lahm bi’ajin, and a Korean adaptation with kimchi and bolgogi toppings. In Europe there is the French Provencal pissaladiere with cooked onions, anchovies, and olive oil, along with a popular German flammkueche, a thick circular dough topped with crème fraiche, onions, and bacon.

Build Your Own Pizza at Home

The potential combinations of bread-based crusts and toppings is stupefying. And home cooks can now leap right into the fun. No need to rely on pre-made frozen pizza, delivery, or take-out. The resources to make a quality pizza in tune with individual dietary preferences and tastes is infinite. There are really just three parts to pizza creation— crust, toppings, and heat source.


If you don’t care to make a pizza dough from scratch (see recipe below), there are fabulous options in the grocery store. Consider the potential of the following items as the base of a quality home-cooked pizza:

  • Fresh made pizza doughs (whole wheat and white flour) are found in the prepared foods section
  • Numerous flavors and sizes of pre-baked, fresh-frozen, and gluten-free pizza shells from artisanal bakeries in Vermont and New Hampshire such as Stonefire, Little Red Hen, Green Mt. Flour, and Mama Mary’s
  • Naan flatbreads
  • Tortillas and wraps of every variety
  • French bread and baguettes
  • Frozen puff pastry
  • Pita bread
  • Broad, crunchy crackers like lavash or Torte de Aciete by Ines Rosales from Spain


Pre-packaged Naan Indian bread  makes a fine option for a quick home-crafted pizza


In selecting toppings, consider the meal. Are you making an entrée or an appetizer? Or perhaps you want to stretch a meal of salad or soup with a crusty slice. And how about breakfast? Not the usual cold leftover slice, but a fresh pizza adorned with scrambled eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, and some crispy potatoes. The leftovers from last night’s BBQ chicken work well, too. Go vegan and make seasonal vegetables like asparagus, leeks, and snap peas the stars. Take your inspiration from international cuisines and think Mexican with taco-themed toppings or Indian Tandoori curried chicken and paneer pizza. For a dessert pizza, top a pate brisé crust with sweet pastry cream, seasonal berries, kiwis, and powdered sugar. If you love cheese, combine feta and lamb, a local goat cheese with baby spinach and arugula, or fontina with mushrooms. Smear shells with pesto, truffle or chile oil, anchovy paste, or a spicy salsa.

Heat Source

Bake fresh pizza at home at the highest temperature your oven can go. Commercial ovens bake at well over 500 degrees, and wood-fired ones crank at nearly 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pizza in the top of the oven on a pre-heated pizza stone, and it will cook in 10-12 minutes.

An excellent way to enjoy pizza is to use the outdoor grill for the best direct heat delivery. Bake dough directly on the rack for 5-10 minutes, then flip. Fill the shell with toppings. Close the lid and grill another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Pizza also cooks well in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop or inside the oven, and if using pre-baked crusts, just stick the pizza under the broiler for 2 minutes.

Pizza is a perfect food with universal appeal. It is an attractive and creative option for home cooks who want to prepare a convenient meal. Sink your teeth into a great crust loaded with flavor, texture, and nutrition. Bring the elegance of pizza into your own kitchen—without the box.


Classic Pizza Dough Recipe

(from the Cooks’ Illustrated Cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen, 2011 )

This is an easy, shortcut pizza dough that produces a crispy crust when made on a pizza stone and can “practically be made in the time it takes to heat the oven.” Bread flour works extremely well, but you can substitute all-purpose flour if you wish. The bread flour, however, promises a somewhat chewier texture.

This recipe makes 2 pounds of dough, enough for two 14-inch pizzas.

4 to 4 1/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups water, heated to 110 degrees

Pulse 4 cups flour, yeast, and salt together in food processor (fitted with dough blade if possible) until combined, about 5 pulses. With food processor running, slowly add oil, then water; process until rough ball forms, 30 to 40 seconds. Let dough rest for 2 minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer. (If, after 30 seconds dough is sticky and clings to blade, add remaining ¼ cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.)

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand into smooth, round ball. Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl; cover bowl tightly with greased plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, before using.

Fontina, Caramelized-Onion, and Pancetta Pizza

(from Cooking Light, October 1998 )

For a mellow and melt-in-your-mouth cheese pizza with a sweet and salty bite, try this simply prepared topping. It’s bursting with flavor.

1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
8 cups sliced onion (about 3 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese, divided
Thyme sprigs (optional)
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions, thyme, salt, and white pepper; cook 25 minutes or until onions are browned, stirring frequently.

Brush each prepared pizza crust with 1½ teaspoons oil; top each with half of onion mixture. Sprinkle half of cheese over each pizza. Bake at 475° for 9 minutes or until crusts are crisp. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Atomic Cake: An Explosive Confection


From the 1950’s, here’s a birthday cake that mom can make even while the family is cowering in the fallout shelter. Bless her heart.

301968_10150899306145051_668891930_nPhoto by ME Lorden

Evaporated milk, crisco oil, powdered eggs, and 3 boxed cake mixes are used to make this  chocolate and vanilla pudding-filled cake with canned fruit layers. Slather the pudding between the  triple golden, vanilla, and chocolate cake layers with maraschino cherries and canned pineapple. Wrap the entire chemical wonder with Dream Whip and then—KABOOM! Atomic cake.

Heat source to bake the cake? Gas stove or electric if generator is running. Candle power won’t do.

Nothing like eating a sculpture of a hydrogen bomb.  It was all the rage.

e70063f96dc9e413ab94d30dd62a4b20 Who knew that this horrific technology which gave the United States an atomic monopoly would also inspire new culinary tastes?

Better living through chemistry, I suppose.


Light-as-a-(radiation)cloud Confection.

Atomic Cake-lo

New fad of celebratory cake among the military elite.

Enjoying atomic pastry along with their atomic cocktails.

The Soviets were offended by this publicity photo and the idea of an Atomic Cake altogether.  US clergymen found it obscene. The newspaper headlines of the day reported on the indignation.  The atomic bomb was clearly best kept off the list of fun food themes with the great cake controversy that began in 1946.

Check out the following link:

Atomic Cake Media Controversy

Soviet Cake


These creamy sweet layers are pretty luscious.

 You can substitute sliced bananas in one of the layers for the pineapple if you aren’t stuck in the bomb shelter.

This clever cake explodes with flavor.  Might as well eat up before you kiss your fanny good-bye.

What Makes a Great Hamburger? Naked Good Burgers: Bareburger of NY


When Mark Twain said, “Sacred cows make the best hamburger,” he probably had no idea that a lot of meat-lovers, culinary cool cats, and organic farmers would take him on his word. The meat that is going into the modern American patty has been undergoing a radical transformation of culinary and ethical dimensions.

Terrific burgers aren’t found only in local diners and favorite greasy spoons anymore.Today they stand as the acid test of any good bistro. Even the infamous Julia Child was a burger fiend. When she passed through the Upper Valley a decade ago, her meal of choice at our local Norwich Inn restaurant was a burger and a beer. I should have been paying attention, Julia.

Until this winter, I hadn’t eaten hamburgers for years. Whenever I got hamburger hankerings, the sandwich just never delivered. Between the charred and chewy grilled burgers I was eating at summer gatherings, the handful of horrible on-the-road fast food versions, and the hockey pucks that my old George Forman grill produced, I was off burgers. Bad timing and a maturing palate, I told myself. Frankly, I couldn’t seem to cook one right, and I couldn’t find one that satisfied, either. I was turned off to the classic American meat sandwich.

At restaurants, my dining companions often remark, “…and they have a good burger here, too.”  Translation: “You can always get the burger if none of the other stuff appeals to you at this very cool eatery.”  Right. I was never willing to stoop to the burger option, that selection lurking at the bottom of the menu food chain. Ordering a hamburger just never seemed like the right choice when dining out.  Plus burgers came with fries, cheese, and other fattening temptations. Nope.  Burgers were off my radar– until a recent dining adventure in New York.

While there is no ham in hamburger, there seems to be every other kind of meat in burgers these days. The all beef patty isn’t just for lunch anymore, and it isn’t all beef.  And if you don’t believe me, stop by one of a dozen New York area burger bistros called Bareburger, the brainstorm of the Brooklyn-based Euripedes  Pelekanos.  Now a decade old, Bareburger has garnered raves from Zagat and Michelin.  With a wide selection of meat choices to build your custom six ounce burger (beef, lamb, elk, bison, ostrich, wild boar, turkey, chicken), Bareburger lets hamburger lovers go wild.  But it’s meat with a difference. All the meats at Bareburger are locally sourced, humanely raised, and are of the highest quality available.  Simple and pure, this naked goodness comes free of hormones, chemicals, and gluten, too. The result is a burger that is high in flavor and, well, “earth friendly” in its production.


And that goes for all the other produce served there, too, as well as the restaurant decor. Built with sustainable, recycled or reclaimed materials, Bareburger’s interior design has a brown paper bag feel about it with wall art consisting of woven sticks and rough stones. The bear cave theme is present along with a Portland-West Coast vibe. Entering the bear’s lair, I enjoyed the best piped-in music at a restaurant in years. Something about eating a hamburger to the likes of Hendrix, Joplin, Neil Young, Zep, the Stones, and Dylan was just right.  I felt like Goldilocks.

Navigating the Bareburger menu is fun. You get to construct a burger by starting with the protein selection. For the bun, there are both flour-based and gluten-free options such as wheat, buttery brioche, multi-grain, rice, tapioca, and even a lettuce-wrap. Then it’s on to choices of crazy good pickles, over fourteen different sauces, and slaws that add crunch, a spicy bite, and a cooling finish to your burger. The french fries are handcrafted and crispy. For a lighter bite, choose sliders. Kids get a menu, too– the “cubby” in your family can choose burgers named after five different cuddly bears. Yup. Bareburger can be a bit of a family hangout. But it’s no Chuck E. Cheese or MacDonald’s. When I ate at the Forest Hills branch, it was kid-free, but we were there well after 8:00 pm and the wine and beer crowd was in the groove.

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I went for the elk burger classic on a brioche bun topped with slaw and fries on the side. I have been a fan of elk meat for a while now, having cooked elk tenderloin and smoked my own elk jerky on a handmade pinewood smoker (like northeastern woodland paleo-Indians). I am mad for elk, and the meat I used was wild game brought back to me from Montana.  But an elk burger was a new option. Every bit as delicious, the farm-raised Bareburger patty, seasoned with just salt and pepper, was amazing. The burgers have none of the charcoal-y sear on the outside, but even cooked to a medium level remain intensely juicy and flavorful. The price for a burger starts around $9.00 with game meat adding a buck or so, and toppings can add another $3.00-$5.00 dollars.  Sides run $5.00-$7.00, but are large enough to share.

Health Note: Wild game as well as farm-raised elk both contain a mixture of fats that are actually healthy for you, and while higher in cholesterol, elk is overall lower in the unhealthy fat than beef.
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If you are hanging Paleo these days, Bareburger is a great option. And non-meat eaters, don’t fret. Vegetarian selections abound, including black bean, portobello, or veggie burgers as well as plenty of wholesome dishes and creative salads featuring locally sourced produce.  Great smoothies, and an ample beer and wine selection are available.

The cheap, fast-food burger is a thing of the past. Whether you like to eat America’s wild beasts that have been farm raised with kindness, or wish to support the locavore movement, you’ll find that Bareburger offers something to satisfy every healthy diet. It’s the place where meat-eaters and vegans alike can commune and chow down in good conscience.     –MELorden

Pasha Restaurant Review

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Here is the second of four NYC restaurant reviews featuring spots where OTK dined during a recent excursion outtathekitchen.


Turkish Cuisine

70 W 71st St, New York 10023

(Btwn Columbus Ave & CPW)

 (212) 579-8751 

Enter Pasha and step into a sultan’s ante-room. The bar, an elliptical oasis surrounded by deep-cushioned easy chairs upholstered with geometric designs, is bathed in a golden saffron light.  Paprika red walls, warm and energizing, quickly conquered the chill of the damp Manhattan night and put my taste buds in overdrive. I was eager to indulge in Turkish cuisine inside this carpeted lair from the Ottoman empire.100_2905

The dining room was a cozy square with a comfy, surrounding wall bench. Small tables with candles skirted the room.  Above was a ceiling of sky lights and beams which reflected the snowflakes falling out of the city sky, and leaning against each pillar was the waitstaff, impeccably attired and at the ready.  Immediately, two gentlemen presented themselves at our table with water, bread, an olive-y herbed dipping oil, menus, and a richly accented explanation of the specials.

Pasha’s menu was very manageable and reminiscent of Greek, Arabic, and Mediterranean fare. They also offer a lunch and a brunch, and I made a mental note of that. My sister and I shared two appetizers: a zucchini pancake which was a frittata of baked egg and shredded zucchini and herbs, and the Zeytinyagli Enginar ,fresh artichoke hearts braised in lemon juice and olive oil with garden peas, potatoes, and carrots. These Mediterranean flavors atop tangy and lemony vegetables along with the herb-infused oil for the rich ekmer bread were great openers– just the right combination for a first bite of  Turkish cuisine.


Sitting room in the bar at Pasha

In my entree, a Hunkar Begendi, cubes of baby lamb cooked in tomato sauce with rosemary and oregano were served over a charcoal roasted eggplant puree.The charcoal flavor of the eggplant was deep and earthy, and I enjoyed it spread over the rich flatbread. The tomato sauce was sweet and light with well-developed flavor sof sumac and cumin; the lamb cubes just melted in my mouth. This herbaceous stew of tender meat and vegetables cooked over coals brought me to a world of very ancient flavors.  My sister’s entree was Sebzeli Guvec, a vegetarian combination of green beans, eggplant, zucchini, okra and celery root baked with tomatoes in an earthenware casserole. It was served with a tender rice. The okra was perfect, not gummy or overcooked, and the vegetables made for a great mix of texture, sweetness, and color in a light sauce. Portions were plentiful, too.


        Welcome to Pasha


Braised Artichoke Heart in Lemon and Oil with Carrots, Peas, and Fresh Dill 


Stew of Cubed Lamb with Charcoal Roasted Eggplant Pureé  


Okra, Zucchini, Greenbeans and Celery Root Braised in Tomato Sauce

Everything on the dessert menu struck my fancy.  I have a hard time turning down pastries featuring walnuts, pistachios, phyllo dough, honey, fruit, and cream combinations. There are also several options of sherbet and ice cream. We opted for the rice pudding and a Turkish coffee– both tiptop.

Service was outstanding, probably because we were there at an early hour, so our extremely polite servers were happy to accommodate our whims and to chitchat.  The action eventually picked up, and Pasha was soon humming with diners, clearly fans of the establishment and local neighborhood folk– no touristy feel here. If you love the traditional kebabs, pilafs, kofte, and stuffed grape leaves, you can find these at Pasha, too.  (For an excellent Turkish dish you can cook at home, click RECIPE .)

Pasha is not fancy, but just exotic enough to be a great combination of fun and fantasy.  Food is comforting as is the warm setting. It was a quiet dining experience, something I had missed in the city restaurants of late. My sister and I were able to have a great visit over special food on our magic carpet ride.

Going outtathekitchen in NYC

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It was fun to step outtathekitchen and into some new eating establishments during my latest visit to NYC.

While the food was quite enjoyable, the company trumped the cuisine in most cases.  

Check out the following accessible restaurants…


I looked forward to dining out with my friends who were in town for Westminster at a  touristy and mutually convenient Italian restaurant on the west side in mid-town  Manhattan.  Trattoria Dell’Artesomehow manages to attract diners with an enormous plaster nose in the window facing Seventh Avenue.  Eeewww. The art inside the restaurant isn’t any better– gigantic sculptures of lips and enormous canvases with facial, torso, and limb closeups, awkwardly sketched in red pastel a la Da Vinci. Yeah. The meal, though only slightly above average, was a worthy adventure, for the most part.

When entering Trattoria Dell’Arte, be prepared.  You will be overwhelmed with smarmy, over-dressed hosts and hostesses.  I had three– the maitre d’, the floor drone, and the hatcheck girl.  They got the name wrong in the reservation,which caused momentary confusion, but  I was seated promptly at a table for two to await my two friends. Huh? I adjoined the neighboring table together with mine since the host who seated me did not do so.


Our waiter was a lively, stand up comedic type, hyping each dish as his “absolute favorite.”  His loud and zealous rap was appreciated since the joint was jumping with the pre-theater crowd.  We could hardly hear ourselves think.

For starters, we assembled a build-your-own antipasto plate of a few vegetables, meat, and a seafood. Very nice. I had already scoped out some of the antipasto choices when I arrived  in the front of the house, and I briefly contemplated just going for the antipasto bar for my main meal, but I was just too hungry.


For entreés, two of us ordered the Fennel Sausage Pasta with curly gramigna pasta, tomato, and pecorino cheese. The pasta, a kind of half-cavatappi (corkscrew) was freshly made on the premises. This artisanal sausage featured a nicely balanced rosemary and garlic flavor which combined well with the sweet fennel notes in the light marinara sauce. The pasta was cooked a bit beyond al dente, but not at all mushy. Another dining partner ordered a chicken parmesan– a flattened boneless and skinless leg, breaded, lightly fried and topped with excellent parmesan cheese.  Not pretty to look at as it resembled something that had been run over by a truck, complete with protruding leg bone– but the meat was moist, the breading crunchy, and it was neither greasy nor over-sauced. Everybody was happy with their main dish, sharing generously with each other.  The wine lubricated the fun.


                    Fennel Sausage Pasta with Grimagna and Pecorino Cheese

During the meal, our colorful waiter kept marching by with various over-sized desserts. He started to push the cannoli as his hands-down favorite dessert that he always ordered as it was the best he ever ate. Dessert was definitely on our radar after all that salesmanship, and we went for the chocolate mousse, tiramisu, and lemon tart.  However, he brought a cannoli instead by mistake. When we asked him to exchange it, he generously suggested that we keep it and he would bring the third dessert right along. It never arrived.  So we dug into the cannoli and not reluctantly since we thought we had just scored a bonus dessert. Then we understood why he must have dumped it on our table.  It was truly inedible–  the shells were tasteless pizelle with the consistency of wet paper, the ricotta inside had turned and seemed totally devoid of sugar or marscapone, and the blueberry slop on the side was incongruous and tart on the tongue.  Bleah.  They must have been out of the tiramisu. The chocolate mousse was excellent, and the lemon tart got a B-, but the foul cream on the side was over-whipped nearing the consistency and taste of butter.  Very disappointing.


Two Desserts to Avoid at Trattoria Dell’Arte: Soggy Cannoli and Lemon Tart with Side of  Whipped Cream 

Overall, the allegria  and raucous guffaws from the large tables around us made the dining experience a somewhat wild ride, but it was more fun than annoying.  Prices were a little high (Menu Trattoria Dell’Arte) and not unexpected; the quality of the fare was below par. I still can’t decide if the service was good or not. Everyone was plenty attentive, but I can’t help but wonder if a little benign neglect would have been preferable.

There is lots to chose from on the  menu, but I would recommend going for an informal lunch and trying the antipasto bar with some excellent bread, cheese, and wine.photo

NYC Restaurant Reviews


Today you can check out the first of OTK’s four restaurant reviews from Outtathekitchen’s recent visit to New York City.  

Find out if OTK recommends eating at these spots in the Big Apple– or not.  

Go to On The Road with OTK and click to read today’s review on Trattoria Dell’Arte

YGEH_LogoDev_June07b_FINAL1Trattoria Dell’Arte                                                                                            

900 7th Ave  New York, NY 10106

Pasha Turkish Restaurant   

70 W 71st St  (between W Central Park & Columbus Ave)        

Crispo  Restaurant

 240 W 14th Street    


71-49 Austin St 

(Forest Hills, Queens)