Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

These two made an appearance in class today:

Today was another day I went hungry because it was seafood day at the Natural Gourmet Institute. I’ve never eaten seafood before (except lobster ravioli once when I was 8) and I wasn’t too keen on trying it today. The thing that skeeves me out about seafood is that it’s all alive when you cook it (and some you eat raw/alive like clams and oysters). People go crazy over seafood though, so it really must be amazing and I’m probably missing out.

Steamed muscles in a white wine butter sauce with red peppers and onion.

Has anyone read Hunter S. Thompson’s “Consider the Lobster”? (you can read it here.) I had to read it for class when I was in undergrad and I found the history and anatomy of lobster really interesting. Did you know that lobster was originally considered “poor man’s food” and served to prisoners? Today it’s a very expensive delicacy! The article also goes into detail about the argument over whether or not lobsters can feel pain. The article basically concludes that while lobsters do not have the same type of cerebral cortex that feels pain as we do, they have a different anatomy that gives them the ability to suffer living in captivity and to feel pain when boiled alive or killed. Here is a picture of the lobster we had in class today posing with my classmate Rachel!

Another fun lobster fact, did you know that they are in the same family as spiders? You can tell by their eight legs! If you put your finger in between it’s toes (NOT CLAWS), the lobster will kind of pinch your finger in a cute way. I got a little too familair with Mr. Krabs here to be okay with what happened next…

The Chef unceremoniously ripped off the lobster’s claws, chopped it’s back in half while it was still alive and then decapitated it. Even if lobsters don’t feel pain (which I don’t necessarily believe) that is not a nice way to go. The claws were boiled separately and the rest of the body was pan-seared in olive oil and then flambeed with brandy before cold butter was added. It’s so interesting how the lobster is mostly black/green but turns red when cooked.

Seared scallops in browned butter sauce with capers and lemon juice.

 

Raw oyster and clam bar.

Scallop ceviche

Fried calamari

Sicialian-style stuffed squid

Blackened Shrimp

Finally done with meats! Tomorrow and Friday are all about eggs (or as some might say aygs).

pasta + wine = :)

Last night was the most fun I have had in a long time. Why? Because I finally went out! I used to be an intense partier when I was a freshman in college and even through sophomore year, but once I started seeing my boyfriend I stopped going out so much. I feel it’s pretty common for couples to become “homebodies,” sitting at home in their sweats watching Mad Men on Netflix and eating popcorn. I actually like staying home and getting to bed early, but it’s nice to get out and let my ginger hair down once in a while.

The night started with a nice dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, Via Della Pace, in the East Village. Dan and I were going to go here last weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day but since I was out of commission we went last night instead.


Via Della Pace has a really nice warm and romantic atmosphere with soft lighting and cozy seats. What I love most about the restaurant is that it is so authentically Italian. The owner and all the wait staff are Italian and the people we were seated next to were Italian as well, so if they like it then it must be good! The meal started with complimentary fresh bread dipped in olive oil…

Followed by an appetizer of Bruschetta Siciliana with grilled eggplant, olives, capers and pecorino cheese. I chose this, and Dan and I laughed about it later because none of us actually like eggplant! After I picked off the eggplant it was really good though 🙂

I’m a sucker for gnocchi so for my entrée I ordered the fresh gnocchi with radicchio and walnuts. It came in a cream sauce and was so delicious that I’m drooling just thinking about it now!

Dan ordered the Rigatoni del Pirata, which was baked rigatoni with sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella in a tomato rum sauce. His sauce was really flavorfuland I stole a couple of sausage-free bites.

On the way home from dinner we passed by a film shoot for the new Coen Brothers movie! The whole street was decked out with those old-fashioned cabs. It was so cool and made me feel really lucky to be living in the city!

The rest of the evening consisted of a birthday party, dancing and way too much of this:

I had a great evening but I’m looking forward to sitting on the couch with my boys tonight and going to bed at 10pm. With that, I’m off to go on a trial shift at a new job! Enjoy this beautiful Saturday!