Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This past Sunday my wife, Anna and I took a road trip to Port Angeles for their Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. We gorged ourselves on crab bisque, crab pizza, fresh oysters, grilled bacon-wrapped scallops, and even a crab and bechamel pastry. If you haven't yet experienced this yourself, I highly recommend that you secure it in your calender for next year NOW.

To be honest, the festival was only half of the experience for me. After 9 years of living in New York City without the need for a car has led me to a great appreciation for a road trip, and what a drive it was. From highways to ferries, to state roads and towns, the foliage is the same. Autumn is upon us, and even though I've had this dish in mind for a few weeks, there is no better time for it than now.

The main component of this dish is composed of a filling made by stewing dried mission figs with red wine and balsamic vinegar that is then pureed and stuffed into a crescent-shaped pasta known as agnolotti. While the pasta cooks I brown butter in a saute pan that I also use to warm strands of pulled duck confit and chervil, a subtle herb that is like a cross between parsley and tarragon that gives the dish a light and fresh licorice note. When the dumplings are done they are dumped into the pan along with a lilttle of the cooking water to help give body to the sauce. Once seasoned and plated I finished off the dish with a healthy shaving of Manchego, an aged sheep's milk cheese from Spain that has a sharp, nutty flavor that complements the fig and the brown butter sauce.

For this week's cocktail special I wanted to showcase one of our house-crafted liqueurs, limoncello, which I personally infused and bottled over the summer to add to our dessert drink list. I have used it as a base for cocktails before and I am always looking for new ways to integrate it, so why not create a simple, refreshing Limoncello Sour.

This drink actually pairs very well with the Fig Agnolotti special because it has the citrus from the limoncello to balance out the richness of the brown butter and the duck confit, but is light enough to allow the rest of the dish's flavors to come through.

But don't take my word for it... try them both for yourself!

With Love,