Friday, January 31, 2014

The Offal Dinner @ Macchialina with Nina Compton & Josh Gripper

This was the perfect food storm for me.  I'm a fan of offal especially when it is prepared by very creative and talented chefs. So an eight course offal dinner with two of the best chefs in town, Michael Pirolo and Nina Compton made my toes tingle. Add one of the best pastry chefs into the equation, Josh Gripper, and you know you are in for a real treat and a special night.

The talented trio exceeded my lofty expectations.  It was a fun night featuring delicious offal treats as well as some very nice wine thanks to Jenny Chaefsky. 

It's early in the year but the terrific trio set the bar very high for best meal of 2014.

I highly recommend paying each chef a visit at their respective restaurants, MacchialinaScarpetta and The Dutch.  They are three of the best spots in town.
Mike, Nina's arm & Josh

I was too busy eating dessert and missed a great shot of all three.

Chicken Liver Mousse with figs, black garlic and cilantro. I enjoyed the strong flavor of the chicken liver. It was paired with a nice Moscato d'Asti from Elio Perrone.

Veal Tongue Tonnato with Bottarga, sea beans and capers.  This dish featured a great balance of unique flavors and textures that formed a delicious overall dish. This was paired with a very nice Kerner from Abbazzia di Novacella.

I love Testa and their house-made version was dynamite in every way.  It was served with celery, lovage and green apples.

Tripe, gigante beans, escarole and tomato. They had the tough task of following the testa but they rose to the occasion. The chefs did another great job blending textures and flavors together. The tomato sauce elevated this to another level. It was paired with Tenuta L'Illuminata Barbera d'Alba Colbertina.  

Two of the best pasta dishes I had in 2013 were served by Michael and Nina. Obviously I was looking forward to their pasta courses. And boy did they deliver.  First out,  Tagliolini Blood and Bone.  Yes, you read that right.  As usual, the pasta was cooked perfectly and was incredibly tasty thanks to the blood, bone marrow, lemon and capers. My left sock is somewhere on the east side of Alton and 12th street.

Another look at the Tagliolini Blood and Bone.

Raviolini al Cervello, chicory and truffles was another home-run for me. Great pasta, insane brains and delicious sauce. The pasta dishes were served with a nice Szepsy Furmint.

Veal Kidney with cracked faro and marsala was good but I was still thinking about the prior two pasta dishes and my missing sock.

Pancetta Spiced Sweetbreads?! Yes, please. It was paired with radichio al' agro dolce and cauliflower.  It paired nicely with a Barberesco "Ca Venin" from Rivetto. 

Course nine was Gripper time.  Lemon Custard with macerated strawberries and thyme cream.

The last dish of the night was a wonderful Chocolate Bundino with Amarena cherries and pistachio granita.  Desserts were paired with a Franciacorta from Antica Fratta.

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