Thursday, April 24, 2014

Photo Gallery Thursday " Italian Salami at Eataly"

Salami is quite a staple in Italian cuisine. This amazing selection was found at Eataly, and the aroma was fantastic! How do you eat hard salami? Oh, gosh, many ways! You can slice thick and enjoy with bread and some really good Italian cheese. These make a wonderful appetizer and are great as a stuffing or added to your pasta sauce. Salami makes a great picnic food, along with some bread, cheese and wine. We like to make a dish Escarole and Beans, where we would cut up some salami and add to the dish to give it a real full flavor. What is your favorite way to enjoy salami?





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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sicilian Wine 101 at Pastai in Chelsea

This was the scene this past Saturday in Chelsea. It was a just gorgeous day. I couldn't have asked for a better day to walk around and enjoy the city. We are attending a Sicilian Wine class today with Chef Melissa Muller Daka at her 2014 Michelin rated restaurant, Pastai 
Between the Rite Aid and Billy's Bakery, is a slice of Italian heaven!  
How cute is this?? I love the tables outside, and this was the type of day you would love to eat outdoors.  
Homemade pasta is available here to purchase to take home. I think that is a fabulous idea, these tortellini looked so darn yummy!! 

I loved the vintage photos hanging on the wall. It really gives the place a feel of being home. I have many photos like this of my family, and they are really priceless.  
I really liked the way rolling pins were used as a decoration in the restaurant.  
Our selection of wines   
The food was really just out of this world. Being 100% Italian myself, I have to say Italian food is one of the best and most popular. You can taste the love that goes into making every bite you enjoy. 
The focaccia was something I could have just eaten the whole class. 
Chef Melissa discussing the various grapes used in Sicilian wine making. She really gives you a deep history of the flavors of the wines, and how the soil has such an impact on the flavor. I am not a wine connoisseur, I like my White Zinfandel and Prosecco, but this class is great for beginners. You have the chance to taste various wines, red and white, and also can ask Chef Melissa questions you may have.  
We had a small class, about 7 folks, which I thought was a great size. I think when they are too big, you tend to not get as much out of the class.  
This rice ball was the best I have had and really makes me want to try to make these myself. 
Fried olives. I was a very, very happy person. The flavor was out-of-this-world.  
The food that was enjoyed while we enjoyed the various wines was luscious. I can understand the Michelin rating for this place immediately. 

This shot shows the variance in wines and the colors which I thought was so pretty. You really are amazed how many types of wine are produced in Sicily. 
Calamari was pretty fabulous with a salad with a light lemon dressing. My Mom really loves calamari and I was thinking of her as I enjoyed all these tasty treats. She would have been in heaven if she was with me!  
This class is great for those who wish to visit Sicily and want to check out the various wineries. Chef Melissa can give you some insights as to the best places to check out. I think it's always nice when you can take the advise of someone with so much knowledge. The class is really very informal, and there are no rules which is nice. The time for the class is 2-4pm but they did go beyond that time period the day I attended. I would give yourself enough time, maybe till 5pm, to be on the safe side, if you do take the class.  

This mosaic design was just really gorgeous.  
I would recommend this class to just about anyone. Chef Melissa also has cooking classes available as well which I think would be amazing to attend. You can find out about the upcoming cooking and wine classes HERE . Have you ever taken a wine class? Did you enjoy it ? 

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Pastai is located at 186 9th Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets.

We are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night.
We also serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

——————
Hours of Operation:

Monday to Friday ~ 8 am to 2 am
Saturday ~ 10 am to 2 am
Sunday ~ 10 am to 1 am

Our bar area is first come, first served. However, for parties between eight to twelve guests, we accept reservations for our private farm table.

Telephone 646-688-3463

                                                                 Pastai on Facebook 
                                                                 Follow Chef Melissa's Blog 
                                                                 Pastai on Twitter 
                                                                 Pastai on Instagram 

A huge Thank You to Chef Melissa for this invitation and I hope to be back in one of your restaurants very soon! Her other restaurant is Bar Eolo  located at 7th Avenue and West 21st Street.

Today's Words of Wisdom: The old woman doesn't want fun, she wants bread, wine, and fire. (Sicilian Proverb)

Disclosure: I was a guest of Pastai for this wine class to review on this blog. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.




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