Restaurant Review: Davanti Enoteca

Davanti is a great new spot in Little Italy, it has quickly become so popular that the wait can be 1-2 hours.  The interior is rustic, wine bar with large windows and a great atmosphere.  We chose to go there for lunch, which is a great option so you don’t have to wait.  The menu features a nice selection of cheese and meats that you can select indivudually and on Fridays they do a 3 for $12, 4 for $14, or 5 for $17 deal.  Instead, we went with the homemade ricotta and local honey comb from the “Vasi” menu section- and it was AMAZING.  The bread was fresh and warm, the ricotta- so smooth and rich and that honey was perfection to top it all off:

Next we had the beets, roasted, with walnut butter, candied walnuts and creme fraishe.  It was a great mix of flavors, we love beets and goat cheese!  The beets were sliced a little large so the balance was off, but they still tasted great:

Then we tried their polenta “of the day” which has a tomato and sausage sauce- this was incrdible, the polenta was white and creamy- perfect and they served it from the sauce pan on to our table on a cutting boad then topped it with the sausage goodness- this was so warm, comforting, hearty… so perfect for the snowy afternoon we were having:

Next was a ravioli, a giant one, filled with ricotta, a soft cooked egg and spinach in a butter sauce.  The pasta was a little thick around the edges and not anything “special” but the flavors of the runny yolk with the spinach and ricotta made for a nice rich filling ( we’d probably not get this again…):

by now, we were stuffed but had alrady gone for it- a pizze.  It sounded so good- garlic, chili oil, kale, prosciutto with fresh mozzarella… Jason liked it, I wasn’t impressed.  I think pizzes should be light thin cracker crisp crust with light toppings that have a perfect flavor punch, and this was just too thick, not crisped up, heavy cheese, and the prosciutto was just thick pepperoni.  Again, Jason enjoyed it, and the leftovers, he claims, were even better then fresh…

and of course, we were celebrating after getting engaged, with some prosecco and wine off their very extensive list.  Both were perfect!  Definately give this little spot a try, we think it will be fun to go back and just do the fresh cheeses, meats and wine with some friends!

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We LOVE breakfast

there’s nothing better than this for a quick and healthy breakfast:

Breakfast has always been “our thing”.  We love to wake up with fresh coffee, in pj’s, lounge around and make a delicious meal on our days off together.  It’s no wonder Jason chose to propose to me after a wonderful breakfast he made us, that’s right, we’re ENGAGED!  So next time you feel like skipping breakfast or don’t feel like waking up, just think, you could be missing out on a great opportunity 🙂

Laura’s Chocolate Banana Soufflés- Reader Recipe

For our very first Reader’s Recipe post we have Laura’s found recipe for a rich, warm, fudgy, and healthy Chocolate Banana Soufflé.  The addition of banana in a chocolate dessert is always a welcome addition, it really added to that perfect light and creamy texture.  The souffle will fall after 10 minutes so it’s important to plan ahead and serve right away.  We enjoyed it with a dollop of organic whipped topping and a glass of chocolate wine- (pictured).  The wine was light and very sweet, with a hint of cocoa flavoring.  If you love chocolate and Muscato, this is your new dessert wine.  This recipe is a great starting point for many other variations, you could add grated lemon zest and almond extract… or substitute pureed squash for the bananas with grated cinnamon or nutmeg.  Really the options are endless and this is a perfect healthy treat that no one would think is this good for you- so, seriously enjoy!!!  And thank you Laura for this great new addition to our cookblog and for being our very first Reader REcipe!

Chocolate Banana Soufflés
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz

  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • butter flavored cooking spray

Preheat over to 400F. Coat 4, 6 oz ramekins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas and vanilla together. Sift cornstarch and cocoa powder over bananas and stir well.

In another medium bowl, beat egg whites with sugar until they form soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into banana mixture. When incorporated, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spoon mixture into ramekins.

Wipe the top 1/4 inch “collar” of the ramekin to remove any excess batter so that the souffle will rise straight and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Calories: 131.2 • Fat: 3.6 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 3.2 g • Protein: 4.8 g

Latin Spiced Chicken in Lettuce Cups

In our new issue of Food and Wine, they had top chefs contribute their all time favorite recipes.  Asian lettuce wraps are pretty incredible so when we saw Bill Telepan’s Latin spiced chicken, which marinates for 4 hours with some of our very favorites spices, then it is served in perfect portion sized lettuce cups with a crunchy and fresh slaw, we gave it a try! The down point where this recipes loses that umf is removing all the great flavors with the skin… but you also don’t want to have hunks of chicken leg skin in your light fresh cups.  So what we did is added a little extra salt and pepper to the shredded chicken to make up for he loss.  You can also squeeze more fresh lime juice over your cups before serving.  Enjoy

Contributed by Bill Telepan

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 tablespoon chile powder
  2. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  6. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 6 whole chicken legs (about 4 1/2 pounds)—excess fat trimmed, skin scored
  8. 1 pound Savoy cabbage, finely shredded (8 cups)
  9. 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  10. 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  11. 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  12. 16 large Boston lettuce leaves
Directions:
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper with the chile powder, oregano, garlic, orange juice and 2 tablespoons each of the lime juice and olive oil. Put the chicken legs on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat all over with the spiced oil. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup each of lime juice and olive oil. Add the cabbage, onion, jalapeños and cilantro. Season the slaw with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours, tossing occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast the chicken legs skin side up for about 40 minutes, until browned and cooked through. When cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken.
Arrange the lettuce on a platter and fill with the chicken; top with the slaw and serve.

Beer O’Clock: Duvel

Duvel is an incredibly delicious and strong golden ale made by the Duvel Moortgat brewery that was established in Belgium in 1871 by Jan-Leonard Moortgat. Duvel Moortgat was also one of the original investors in the small American brewery Omegang in Cooperstown NY. Duval Moortgat eventually took complete control of Omegang and established Moortgat distribution USA.

Like most Belgian ales, Duvel is high in alcohol and at 8.5% it packs a serious punch with in its complex flavors and wonderful golden color. We recommend drinking one of these with dinner. Enjoy it slowly as you’ll want to savor its yeasty and fruity aromas and flavor profiles and seemingly endless head in this new staple to our fridge.

Baked Halibut with Arugula Salsa Verde


Food Network is usually on around here, so over the weekend when we watched Giada making this super fresh and simple halibut recipe- we had to give it a try.  The flavors and textures of this are so delicious, we love fresh herbs infused with citrus and salty capers, all very balanced and at the same time, a great dish to look at.  This was so quick and can be served with some warm rice or fresh bread to give us some carbs.  Please give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients

Adapted from Giada

Fish Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper

Baked Halibut:

  • Four 6-ounce halibut fillets, each about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Arugula Salsa Verde, recipe follows
  • Lemon wedges for garnish, optional

Directions

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the fish topping: Mix the chives, parsley and lemon zest in a small bowl. Cover and chill. This can be prepared 4 hours ahead, but keep chilled.

For the baked halibut: Coat the halibut fillets all over with the olive oil. Place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and chive-lemon topping, pressing slightly to adhere. Bake the fish just until opaque in the center, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer 1 fish fillet to each of 4 plates. Spoon the Arugula Salsa Verde alongside. Serve with the lemon wedges, if using.

Arugula Salsa Verde:

  • 1 cup finely chopped arugula
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Blend the arugula, parsley, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and red pepper together in a food processor. The salsa can be prepared 4 hours ahead, but let it stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Birthday Desserts

Amber treated me with some special desserts for my birthday on January 5th. Dolce de leche Tres Leches cake from Kristoffer’s bakery on 18th street and salted Carmel Gelato from whole foods. Cooked with 3 milks, tres leches cakes are decadent and delicious. Our particular cake, the dolce de leche, is covered with Kristoffer’s home made carmel sauce – the perfect topping to this treat. We also decided to pick up just a little bit of Whole Foods salted Carmel Gelato Creamy and delicious, it proved to be a perfect side kick in this version of cake and ice cream!

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