2nd dinner with Mario Batali

This year, we were part of the group at our school that outbid the others at our school auction for Mario Batali to have a dinner for us.  We won this prize last April and we started planning when we could all be available - 6 couples - we came up with December 4th.  I thought the whole planning process was hilarious considering that it took that long for all of us to be available at the same time.  Busy lives.

We all know Mario since he is also a parent at our school so that made it even more fun.  He came with his pastry chef, Gina DePalma, which was an added bonus.

So, we began cocktails with champagne and passed antipasti misti's.  Small deep fried risotto balls which was a pop in the mouth and really tasty.  Sardines marinated and wrapped around small sticks of carrots and celery root.  Crispy baked Parmesan rounds with balsamic onions on top.  My favorite was aged prosciutto wrapped into little purse sacs around pomegranate seeds.  After all these delectable goodies, we sat down for dinner.

The first course was an Acorn Squash Sformato with small greens on top this was served with a white crisp wine from Mario's own personal vineyard.  We learned that formato means form and sformato means form outside the original form.  They had taken acorn squash and created with cream and other ingredients a small custard then reshaped it back a small round mold with greens over the top and a light sauce.  It was not too rich and the consistency was that of a soft custard.  Nice starter.

Second course was with 2 of Mario's favorite ingredients - truffles and beef cheeks.  He feels that there are parts of beef that no one uses and are the tastiest if cooked the right way.  He made us Beef Cheek Ravioli with Black and White Truffles.  The white truffle root was the palm of my hand and the smell is intoxicating.  The beef was braised with spices almost like a pulled pork.  This was inside the ravioli and garnished with butter, cheese and the two types of truffles.  He prefers the white. This was served with a barollo.

Third course was Duck Tortelli with Sugo Finto.  A red duck sauce over large thick pasta.  Pieces of duck.  It was really delicious.

Fourth course was Osso Buco Deconstructed.  We asked him how he came up with this one.  He makes classic osso buco, takes out the bone and marrow, and takes the meat off the bone.  Then puts the marrow and gremolita inside the meat and rolls it up into small round but flat portions.  It almost was the size of an individual tart.  He served small greens over that as well.  Really beautiful presentation.

The last course was dessert. Gina is one helluva of a dessert maker.  She also has a cookbook coming out with I am definitely going to purchase.  She made an upside down individual cranberry tart with the flakiest crust and vanilla gelato served over the top.  It was unbelievable.  Along the side a biscotti and small cookies...but of course.

All and all, lots of eating and drinking going on.  It it always a fun night.  The crowd was great and listening to Mario discuss his passion for food and wine is always captivating.  At the end of the evening we were all thinking what how we can win again the auction this April and what could be fun next year....

blog comments powered by Disqus

Joanne Wilson Joanne Wilson loves food, books, and music. She lives in New York City. Her husband Fred and children Jessica, Emily, and Josh are bloggers too. More »

gotham gal updates

RSS    Email updates    Gotham Gal Twitter updates

ask gotham gal

Powered by Formspring.

books of the moment

  • Helen Oyeyemi: Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel

    Helen Oyeyemi: Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
    I wanted to love this book. There are 3 sections. The first one pulled me in but I found that the second and third were not as interesting. A topic worth writing race issues is interesting but the book rambled. Alas.

  • Andrea Portes: Bury This

    Andrea Portes: Bury This
    A 25 year old unsolved town murder inspires a group of college kids to make a documentary around it with the belief that with the tools we have today that it can be solved. The writing is unique. Rapid short sentences that keeps the reader engaged. Super sad story.

  • Susan Minot: Thirty Girls

    Susan Minot: Thirty Girls
    This is based on a true story of a group of young women who were taken by the Kony LRA rebels in Africa while living and studying at a church. We follow a journalist and her experience on reporting about the girls who have survived by escaping. Learning about their traumatic experiences is heartbreaking. How and why this continues to go on in Africa is mind-boggling. I would have preferred Minot to spend more time with those girls than getting inside the journalists head. Regardless I really am glad I read this book. It is an absolutely worthy read.

  • Anna Quindlen: Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel

    Anna Quindlen: Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel
    A simple story about life, love and art. A 60 year old woman still evolving and finding herself. Really enjoyed it.

  • Jean Hanff Korelitz: You Should Have Known

    Jean Hanff Korelitz: You Should Have Known
    This book comes out on March 18th. The book moves fast with lots of twists and turns. A psychiatrist who has just written about how you should have known you were in a bad relationship finds her husband to not be who she thought he was. The perfect beach read.

  • Bill Bryson: One Summer: America, 1927

    Bill Bryson: One Summer: America, 1927
    My sister recommended this book. What happened that summer from baseball to Lindbergh and aviation to Henry Ford, Calvin Coolidge, Hoover, prohibition, Mt Rushmore, talking movies, theater, Al Capone and the first ponzi scheme. A great historic read.

  • Kim Malone Scott: Virtual Love

    Kim Malone Scott: Virtual Love
    Not sure how I stumbled on this book but I am glad that I did. The book is about a woman trying to figure out her life. She was an entrepreneur and closed her company. She moved to SF to work at Google and run the Ad Sense division. She is in bad male relationships and needs to figure out why so she can get in a good one. There are a lot of thoughts bouncing around her head in regards to her personal struggles. Truly enjoyable well written insightful book.

  • Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland

    Jhumpa Lahiri: The Lowland
    I had read both the Namesake and Lahiri's short stories and I felt both of those books were so much better than the Lowland. There was not on character I liked. None of them lived in the future or the present they all lived in the past. Their lives were just utterly depressing. Also the book was way too long. It is certainly a saga about the turmoil in Calcutta in the 60's and the havoc it wreaked on one family in the post. Perhaps if they all had sought therapy then their lives would have been happier. Would not recommend.

  • Liane Moriarty: The Husband's Secret

    Liane Moriarty: The Husband's Secret
    This is a great book for vacation reading. I read it in a day. Engaging characters who are living real lives and each come with their own baggage. I won't give away the premise of the book but I really enjoyed it.

  • Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel

    Kate Atkinson: Life After Life: A Novel
    I have read most of Atkinson's books. This was an interesting concept. The book mostly takes place during the world wars yet a bit of a challenge to read. It took me a long time to get into the book and then I decided to soldier through. Many of the chapters are essentially redo's of the characters life so that in one chapter they end up dying where in another chapter they continue to live due to a few shifts that take place. Each small decision you make has to do with the life you end lead. Interesting but did not love the book as much as I wanted to.