Well, it's been far too long since I've posted, but life has been hectic, what with the stock market crash and all. Anyone who's still got a job is working twice as hard, especially if you work in publishing!
But enough about things we can't control. I'm here to tell you about life's little pleasures. And of course, it all starts with the garden -- and this blog.
This summer when my friends Valerie Smaldone and Rick Steinhaus came over for one of our tomato tasting soirees (see Monday, Sept. 1st post) Valerie wrote about our private party at thethreetomatoes.com and posted some photos of the evening. Her friend Michele Scicolone, a master chef and cookbook author, happened to see the post and she recognized our terrace, because, get this, she lives directly across the street. She'd spent many a night on her lovely outdoor space, wondering who was growing all those tomatoes across the way.
So, last week, Valerie brought us neighbors together at the Scicolones for the meal of a lifetime. Michele created a menu to die for, starting with homemade cavatelli topped with a fresh tomato sauce with tidbits of eggplant and swordfish, followed by a tender roasted pork loin with fennel dust and rosemary, roasted red peppers and perfectly prepared broccoli rabe.
Her husband Charles, a gifted sommelier, paired each course with a perfect vino, starting the evening with a delightful Sergio Mionetto Prosecco, followed by two superb Italian red wines, Morellino di Scansano "il Monte" Giunti 2003 and Sangiovese "Cimbolo" Poggio Bertaio 2000.
For dessert, Michele brought forth sweet pears poached in red wine sauce and Charles popped the cork on an incredible sparkling red dessert wine, "Pineto" Marenco Brachetto D'Acqui. We ended the evening with a smooth grappa.
What a treat. What a New York story!