Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A culinary respite on the Jersey Shore

Autumn made its arrival known last week when I heard the heat come on. The last rose of sharon curled up and fell to the ground, the last fragrant rose lost all its petals and the mums are in their fullness. And then...alas...a last hurrah of summer. Out come the linen blouses and sandals for a couple more wearings before being tucked away.
Today I am visiting friends on the Jersey shore. It is gorgeous weather. We walked along the beach by day and tonight, we can do so again by full moonlight.
We enjoyed a scenic walk to Asbury Park, in pursuit of late breakfast/lunch/brunch...following a morning of simply latte and visiting.
Fortunately, as it turns out, our destination spot is now closed on Tuesdays. Nearby, at 539 Cookman Ave we stood before a sweet spot, (actually their card says "The Sweetest Spot in Asbury) , a gelateria called Casa Di Dolci with tables out front and a sign announcing new lunch paninis. Their baked goods include hand rolled Brooklyn bagels, pastries and desserrs and coal-fire baked artisan breads. The bread of our delicious paninis was crusty and chewy and superior.

The charming owner, Scott Mizrahi, (no relation) came by our table to ask if we were enjoying our lunch. "Oh yes", we exclaimed, and asked "would you please wrap the second halves of our sandwiches so we can have some gelato for dessert?" He then shared with us how Casa Di Dolci came to be...it began with a week long holiday in Tuscany. He was blown away by how extraordinary the food tasted. When he and his wife returned home he engaged a master to who taught him the recipes for this velvety frozen desert that is soooo much tastier than ice cream and frozen yogurt. Only recently I listened to a podcast from APM called The Splendid Table and heard Mario Batali discuss gelato. He said that the butterfat in ice cream coats and dulls our tastebuds, unlike the less fatty gelato, which allows the flavors to sing! It was a fascinating edition of this fun podcast and I recommend a listen.
Scott gave us tastes of pistachio, rum raisin, coconut, biscotti and cappucino along with the nocciola (hazelnut), which Frances Mayes writes about with such passion in UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN, that all her readers must lust over it. And yes, the hazelnut was amazing but, we ended up having the pistachio. This was not the green colored and cloying concoction we associate with pistachio. This gelato's flavor is intense, provided by a dense nut paste, which I suspecting may also contribute to the smooth and ohhhh soooo satisfying mouth feel. They serve it with tiny spoons to encourage tasting each and every drop...and I did, eyes shut.

Scott was shy about my sharing a photo of the gelato case since it is not full. Instead, he should love us to know that the inventory is constantly replenished and fresh. If we had waited 20 minutes, a fresh batch of gianduia (chocolate hazelnut) would have been ready.
There were opera selections playing during our stay at Casa di Dolci. We all agreed that we lovvvvve beyond reason this one Pavaroti tune, that we think is Puccini. So three of us have spent the rest of the afternoon on our devices (an iMac, and iPad and iPod) trying to identify it. We got Pandora radio to give us a taste but, we don't have the music identification app sooo???? If it is o mio babbino we cannot find it recorded by Pavaroti. Hmmm. What a fabulous way to spend the day.
Barbara Briggs just sent me her post about her experience with Tulip beading needles. In preparation of being invited to the Tulip factory, am making copies of all the love emails I receive and puting them into a scrapbook ( not the Martha Stewart kind!) to present to the folks who produce these beauties for us. Especially those who do the hand work on those sweet little 13s.

Tomorrow will be a beautiful drive home with some good leaf peeping. I'll ship those needle orders that came in over the holiday weekend. Enjoy thatfull moon tonight!
PS the apple update is tomorrow;)
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments:

Post a Comment