Oh my! I am so full. After a whirlwind trip into Providence I could use a Brioschi and a nap.
Let's start with St. Patrick's Day at The Hyannis Yacht Club. We met up at six o'clock and boy was it nice to see everyone again. I am so busy at work I don't get much of a chance to socialize so these opportunities are terrific. Sue-Sue is a member of the club so we were ushered into The Captain's Table (the restaurant at the club) and got a very nice table at the window. The view was really beautiful. We were able to see the ferries going back and forth to the Vineyard from our seat. Let's get to the food. The chef sent us out a lovely "amuse bouche" (amuse the mouth) dish that was some kind of carpaccio with a sauce and a micro-greens garnish. To be honest I could not tell what the carpaccio was or what the sauce was. They had little or no flavor whatsoever. It was a very beautiful plate (I didn't take a photo of that as I was so hungry I forgot to) but it had no flavor at all. The first course I ordered was Oysters Rockefeller which I would not normally order because most cooks are too heavy handed with the Pernod and the oysters usually come out tasting like fish-licorice candy. These were absolutely delicious. There was just the merest suspicion of Pernod and the oysters were plump and not overcooked. Just delicious. I then moved onto the Corned Beef and Cabbage. The plate of food was enormous. Seriously, there must have been a pound of corned beef on the plate plus 3 new potatoes, asparagus, baby carrots, cabbage and creamed onions. The beef was perfectly cooked and not dry or stringy, and not at all salty. All of the accompaniments seemed to have been cooked in the beef's cooking liquid so they were all beautifully flavored. I must say that with the exception of The Contessa's corned beef dinner that this was the best I have had. There was so much left over that I brought it home and will make Bubble and Squeak out of it tomorrow.
|Huge plate of Corned Beef and Cabbage|
|Buzzy, LJ and me|
Now to today. we had planned to go to "The Hill" in Providence to stop at Scialo Brother's Bakery to get our Zeppole di San Giuseppe but of course we couldn't have those for lunch so we went to visit La Reine du Barbecue at LJ's BBQ in Pawtucket. We ordered one item from the Brunch menu and one form the regular menu. The first item was a plate called "The Big Mess". It was pulled pork and home fries topped with poached eggs, dressed with BBQ-spiked Hollandaise sauce. Scott wanted to alter it a little so he did it with cheese sauce and some salsa on the side(?). He said it was absolutely delicious. I had the Pork and Ribs combo platter with pulled pork and 1/2 rack of baby-back ribs, with collard greens and macaroni and cheese. What can I say? The pulled pork literally melted in my mouth and the ribs were succulent. The greens were perfectly cooked with just a hint of sweetness. The mac and cheese had a good portion of crispy crunch on top and a terrific combination of cheeses that made it (next to my own) some of the best I have eaten. I simply could not finish my meal. Linda announced that LJ's has purchased and is retro-fitting a truck to do BBQ on wheels. It is a great idea because I can't imagine not buying something from their truck when you get a whiff of the excellent food they prepare. Check out the notice they get in the Boston Globe on March 30th. I understand that the Globe was suitably impressed.
|1/2 rack, pulled pork, greens and mac & cheese|
|The Big Mess|
|Making people fat since 1906|
We then hit The Hill and stopped at Scialo's. The owner and her husband were 3rd and 4th grade teachers of mine in elementary school (yes they are still alive) and I introduced myself reminding them that it was Ok that they didn't remember me as I didn't have a beard then. The bakery has been in the same location since 1906 and the Art Deco store has been a great place for pastry for as long as I can remember. The Contessa had brought me zeppole from the Modern Bakery in the North End a couple of weeks ago. These were the classic pate a choux pastries with custard filling and a Bing cherry on top. Since I had already had the classic I decided to go with a variant on the theme and ordered the zeppole with a ricotta cheese filling flavored with orange zest and orange water. It was absolutely delicious. I wish it was St. Joe's Day every day! If you haven't had one of these pastries before make a note of the date of St Joseph's Day on the calendar and get yourself to an Italian bakery and get yourself some zeppole. You'll be so glad you did.
|On St. Joe's Day I'm like a swallow heading for Capistrano!|
|This place has not changed one bit since I was a kid. I love the round glass cases filled with Italian candies.|
|Zeppole di San Giuseppe|