jeudi, novembre 23, 2006

CarlaVisit Day 2: Italian in Paris

After chatting with the folks at the front desk (they're friendly and chatty), we headed out to my boulangerie for some pains au chocolat and coffee. From there, Carla went back home and I headed off to work. While I was at work, Carla did some internet work and a bunch of laundry (she was coming from a previous week at a conference, much like me). Thanks for doing my laundry, too, Carla!

After work, I had a meeting for drinks with a colleague visiting from the UK, so we headed over to the Latin Quarter for drinks, and then moved on to dinner at this fantastic Italian restaurant called Terra Nera ("black earth"). I had the carpaccio de spada (swordfish carpaccio) as an appetizer and my sister had some sort of warm goat-cheese salad. For main dishes, Carla had this amazing ravioli dish in truffle-cream sauce. From the taste and look of it, the cream sauce was literally a handful of shaved black truffle whipped into creme fraiche. It was kinda insane. My main dish involved a sort of seafood-y penne carbonara, with shards of smoked ham, shrimp, onions and this amazing cream sauce. I forget what my colleague and his partner had, but I'm pretty sure it was amazing, too.

The high point was the desserts, which were nearly deadly. I got the baba al limoncello. I had thought that this was going to be an Italian version of the South American dessert babaroi/babarua, but instead it was the European version of baba, which involves little champagne-cork-shaped bits of fried dough soaked in various things. In this case, it was a ton of limoncello (lemon liquor). The baba act like little sponges and each one holds almost an ounce of alcohol, so you can imagine what it was like to be presented with a dish of 10 baba with a little bit of whipped cream to hold it together. It was delicious, but I thought I was going to pass out by the end of it. My sister got a Neapolitan dessert called pastería (no relation to the Moroccan pastilla). This cake had a pie-crust base, with a layer of glazed pears and then a layer of orange flower blossoms. It was fragrant and delicious and light and not very sweet. If you ever have the opportunity to order it in a restaurant (especially this one) definitely try it.

After a great night of intense fooding (I was a bit too tipsy to walk easily and far too stuffed to walk comfortably), we said our goodbyes and staggered off to the nearest subway station. As we were heading home, I noticed that my throat was sore and scratchy. I remembered that my boss at work had been getting over a cold when I saw him on Wednesday. Hmmm. If I get his cold, I'll...

And then I spent the rest of the night coughing, blowing my nose, sweating, and feeling like my head had been set in gelatin.

2 commentaires:

leo a dit…

HOLY CRAP that sounds like a good meal!!! I am currently eating buttery potatoes and waiting for my apple streusel. I'm planning on having a heart attack by the end of the day, basically.

Here's my question for you, though: what makes a carbonara a carbonara? I have only discovered this fantastic dish this year in Ruth Reichl's memoir Garlic and Sapphires and although I have a vague sense of its resembling what you ate at this meal ... do you know what makes them both carbonaras? (Reichl's version is the plain spaghetti with bacon, bacon fat, eggs, salt & pepper...)

LMGM a dit…

mmm, buttery potatoes. I'm about to make something involving chicken, heavy cream, mushrooms, and that cocoa pasta I've had kicking around.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the basic Carbonara dish involves bacon (and its accompanying fat) and a raw egg (which cooks in the noodles). The idea is that you create a sauce by mixing the raw egg and the hot pork fat together. Mmmm.