Last night Jen Royle appeared on ABC prime time television to cook her way onto the hit show The Taste, a kind of “Voice” format where the judges love you or leave you. Jen and Steve Dish It Up on the food combo that got their thumbs up and what it was like to drop everything and head to LA.
The question is…does she make it to the next round?
My husband’s very favorite pasta sauce is also one of the world’s simplest. We both fell in love with this Roman specialty, a creamy twirl of fresh pasta, hot with crushed black pepper, during our time in residence at the American Academy in Rome, after a friend introduced us to the charms of the old Jewish Ghetto. There, on the Piazza delle Cinque Scuole, behind an unmarked door at number 30, is one of the smallest trattorias in the city, Sora Margherita.
You need to become a “member” of Sora Margherita because of local licensing, but this essentially means filling in a form. We were introduced in this loud and crowded little watering hole to the simple marvel that is pasta cacio e pepe. The cooks at Sora Margherita serve it over a delectable egg tonnarelli (a variation on long, flat fettucine), but any long pasta will do. The quality of the pasta is as important as the freshness of the few ingredients.
“Give me juicy, autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.” -Walt Whitman
The first day of autumn, for me, is like Christmas. I anxiously await the turning of the leaves and that virgin brush of crisp air like a kid waits for Santa Claus. The sight of mums and pumpkins at the grocery store makes me absolutely giddy. This is also my favorite time to cook – the markets are bursting with the bounty of the harvest and the cool evenings make it ok to crank up the oven. That smoky old grill you’ve been using all summer is tired and ain’t got nothin’ on the beautiful roasts and casseroles that fill your home with amazing aromas.
During the summer meet festivities at the Saratoga Race Course, the thoroughbreds are the stars who pack the small town of Saratoga Springs with horse racing enthusiasts and tourists. But after the last race of the day, the restaurants and bars become the main attraction, and finding great food and a party is easy. Just keep in mind that most places during this time of year are very busy, but getting a table isn’t impossible.
The brightest stars among the numerous options are Prime at Saratoga National and Sperry’s. If you want to rub elbows with celebrities, horse owners, trainers and jockeys, these are the spots…
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There are plenty of perks to working one of those schedules where you have a day off during the week: you get to see the latest summer blockbuster with the theater all to yourself, hit up the beach when it’s not uncomfortably packed, frequent those incredibly hip weeknight-only dance parties, etc. But with the perks, come the drawbacks and for me the absolute worst is missing my favorite meal: brunch.
Sure you can go to one of those breakfast-served-all-day diners, but it just isn’t the same. Brunch is a celebration of your day off, your escape from the doldrums of the workweek. The magic is lost on a Thursday night, frankly. I had resigned myself bitterly to my fate– that I’d only enjoy fabulous brunches while on vacation–when finally the universe provided for me: Trina’s Starlite Lounge.
Every Monday Trina’s hosts an “industry” brunch, open to all, but created especially for those of us who normally miss out on weekend fun because we’re too busy supplying said fun for all the 9-5ers out there. With indulgent offerings like home-made pop tarts (when I went they were apricot with strawberry glaze, AMAZING!), famous chicken-n-waffles, and original cocktails like The Adirondack, pictured above (yes, it is garnished with chocolate covered bacon), it’s enough to make the Monday through Friday crowd downright jealous.
So you’ll excuse me while I savor my delicious, new-found schadenfreude. I’ll be ready to share if you happen to find yourself off next Monday.
Every Monday, noon-4
Trina’s Starlite Lounge
3 Beacon St, Somerville
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