Potato Pesto Pizza

September 10, 2012

My pizza obsession and general gluttonous nature has afforded me the opportunity to find one of the best pies known to man — and to tell you all about it.

Potato pesto pizza — it’s not only an alliteration, it’s a complete contradiction to everything you thought about pizza toppings. Stay clear, carb counters.

This pizza comes with 1/4-inch thick slices of perfectly cooked, sliced white potatoes layered atop high-quality mozzarella, homemade pesto and topped with whole basil leaves. Contrary to my first thoughts, the pizza crust was strong enough to hold its hearty toppings, meaning I could enjoy the slices the way pizza should always be eaten — with my hands.

I’ve never fell in love with a slice so quickly. After my first bite, I proclaimed I would be coming back. Soon.

The second bite drove me to announce that this potato pesto pizza was one of the greatest pies I had ever experienced in my many years living with a pizza obsession. It rivals Toby’s Public House, Grimaldi’s and Celeste.

I was hooked. I was in love. I almost cried.

As if the pies alone weren’t reason enough to make the trek to Astoria Boulevard, the service there is friendly, funny, flirty and 100% Italian. And at 9pm on a Friday night, there was no wait. I struggled with the decision to tell the world my two readers about Basil Brick Oven Pizza. But in the end, I could not keep it to myself. This pizza is too special. It needs to be cherished, respected, praised. It needs to be eaten.


Braised Rabbit at Al Di La

October 25, 2011

Of course rabbits are cute, but did you know they’re also delicious?

For the three years I’ve lived in Park Slope, I have wanted to try the Italian treasures at Al Di La after hearing and reading rave reviews. Last night, epicurean dreams came true.

For starters, we ordered the a salad topped with grilled sardines in a light, citrus dressing. The fish were flaky, salty and moist — everything you’d expect from fresh sardines. The dressing was lemon based, but not pungent enough to take over the taste of the fish. The mini red and orange cherry tomatoes were tart and tasty — I wished there more on the plate.

For my my main dish, I opted for the braised rabbit served with black olives and silky polenta. Having never tried rabbit, I was completely unaware of what to expect. The meat was pearly white and unbelievably moist with a charred outside that added an earthy, smoky flavor. Rabbit is a clean and lean meat that, though naturally somewhat subtle in taste and texture, is unbelievably delicious when prepared correctly. Now, this could have something to do with the heavenly cloud of polenta on which the rabbit was resting, ensuring a bit of buttery goodness is consumed with each bite of the tender meat. This polenta was prepared to perfection, something you can’t always say about the sometimes-hard-to-master cornmeal dish. In all, the restaurant’s braised rabbit dish is a carnivore’s delight.

My dinner guest opted for the sliced hanger steak deglazed in balsamic vinegar. She loved the texture of the meat and the way the sauce complimented the protein. Even I loved this dish and I very rarely eat steak (long story…just ask Nick).

To add a little sweetness to this meatfest, we ordered a trio of sorbets: honey, cherry and blackberry. To my surprise, the honey sorbet was the best tasting of the lot, though all were amazing. We sipped on port while we slowly enjoyed the last of a very memorable meal. I will be back.

Calzone Nation

March 6, 2011

Calzones. Who doesn’t love them?

My roommate happens to be a bigger calzone fan than one can imagine. She’s never tried to make them herself, however. Neither have I. With that in mind, we attempted the possible.

We used frozen pizza dough and divided them into sections of eight, then rolled them out into seven-inch rounds. For filling, we used sautéed green bell pepper, red bell pepper, broccoli, onion, garlic and a bit of homemade red sauce. We topped that with three types of cheese (mozzarella, pecorino and monterey jack), fresh basil and turkey pepperoni. Delicious!

The roommate knows how to roll.

Vegetable party.

The ingredients meet.


Tasting Party

February 27, 2011

You can’t create an hors d’oeuvres catering menu without first sampling the selections. With that in mind, I invited a few friends over to taste some of the hors d’oeuvres from the Brooklyn Eats menu.

Vegetarian summer rolls served with a peanut dipping sauce.

Roasted poblano soup served with fontina grilled cheese wedges.

Tuscan chicken, sauteed spinach and oven-dried tomatoes in puff pastry shells.

Pulled pork served on corn tamale cakes with sour cream and green onion.