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Monday, October 18, 2010

Dining Out: An Italian Celebration

Yesterday was cubes's birthday. To celebrate, Nan, cubes, and I went to his favorite Italian restaurant. It's authentic. The place where everything is served family style. The antipasto. The pasta. The entree. The vegetables.

Where is this magical place? It's just a hop, skip, and a jump away from JFK and should be on every traveler's itinerary. The place is Don Peppe's at 138 Lefferts. (For those who attended our wedding last weekend forgive my misspelling of the restaurant's name. I accidentally forgot a "p.")

Our menu for cubes' birthday was:
  • Antipasto: Baked Clams
  • Pasta: Linguine with Marinara Sauce
  • Entree: Chicken Scarparello
  • Vegetable: Broccoli Rabe
  • Dessert: Cannoli with Espresso
Don Peppe's is known for abundant seasoning with garlic. One difference between last year's meal and this year's was slightly less garlic seasoning in the baked clams. This dish is so elegantly simple in its preparation and presentation that I think it should be one of the first of our favorite dishes that we try to recreate. Clams, garlic, parsley, seasoned breadcrumbs, and olive oil.

One part of service that I enjoyed last year was how the waiter dishes up the clams for each person and how they did the same with the pasta. Tableside service that I haven't personally experienced in San Francisco's North Beach.

As with our meal last year we ate all of the clams and dipped gobs of bread into the sauce.

But again like last year, too much bread did us in and the three of us could not finish all the food that was placed in front of us. We have leftover Linguine.

We obviously didn't portion ourselves very well. I was almost completely stuffed by the time our Chicken Scarparello and Broccoli Rabe arrived tableside. One danger you face at Don Peppe's that you should be aware of. The food smells so good that it just calls to you, "Eat me." "Eat me." So we did.

We also have more Chicken Scarparello and broccoli rabe. (Can you see that garlic?)

No dinner at Don Peppe's would be complete without dessert. And their cannoli did not disappoint.

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