Archive for ‘Pistacia Vera’

May 20, 2012

Precious Little | Strawberry Peony Jam

It’s the time of year that it’s hard to pin me down.  I’m outside.  Busy in the backyard, planting, weeding, sitting, contemplating.  I just want to be outside.  Watching for the return of Chestnut.  Seeing if we have any new baby rabbits in the yard.  I just find so much peace there, that you’re hard pressed to get a post out of me.  I have better things to do.

Because of this I was there, in the backyard, when the peonies bloomed this year.  They are my absolute favorite flower: profuse, heavy blooms; heady fragrance.  I turned the confetti of abundant petals into syrup.  I did this last year, but not as adroitly.

Marry to this that I went strawberry picking with friends last week.  And 17 pounds picked meant there was certain to be some jamming.  Did there happen to be some master pastry chefs along?  Why yes, there were.  (Thanks, B.)  So I asked them how to incorporate my peony syrup into the jam that was sure to follow all that picking.   Add the syrup at the last minute, they said, to keep all the flower essence.   But of course.

Ten cups of strawberries

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November 13, 2010

Dine Originals Week | Pistacia Vera

Why don’t I live in German Village again?  Seriously.  I think I’ll just move there to be closer to Pistacia Vera.  I will, of course, gain 35 pounds over the course of a week or two because I would be there every. day. Three times a day.

I knew the pastries were good.  I’ve had them before.  The coffee is hot and strong and delicious from Cafe Brioso.  And the shop is so lovely and light and minimalist.  I know all these things.  But today, there was something magical about the perfectly arranged platter of six (!!) lovingly crafted sweets, my tasty Americano and a November day when it’s almost 70 and you can sit in the pretty little side courtyard and close your eyes and imagine you’re in Paris.  I close my eyes and imagine that Cherub is behaving herself, too.  But, alas, I’m a dreamer at heart.

The $10 menu, specially designed for Dine Originals Week included left row, bottom to top: fruit pates (black currant champagne and orange ginger), a mocha praline jaconde, and a mouth-watering cashew caramel.  On the right, two of their famous Parisian macarons (a pumpkin and a maple walnut), their Florentine and the pear ginger frangipan.  I swooned over the cashew caramel.  This has risen to the tip-top of my holiday gift list.  People would kiss you if you sent them a box of these babies.  Which you can

The true beauty of Pistacia Vera is that you can get these creative and inspiring bites, along with tremendous coffee for the same price as your typical afternoon chain coffee stop.  So get thee to German Village for an unpretentious little break.  And when you do, make sure to invite me along.  You know I’m game.

November 4, 2010

Dine Originals Week | November 2010 Menu Previews

Dine Originals Week starts this Monday, November 8th and runs through Sunday, November 14th.  Truly, this is one of the best times of year to visit one of the 53 independently owned and arguably best restaurants in Columbus.  At all 53 you will find specially designed three course meals for $10, $20 or $30.  Perusing this year’s preview menus, I’ve staked out a few (just a few, really…) that I’m wanting to try.  Give a click to any of the restaurant names below to link to the proposed menus.

For $10 you can sample of the tremendous fare at Tasi for lunch, lose yourself in a dreamy, sugary collection of six pastries from the elegant folks at Pistacia Vera or enjoy real New York-style deli fare at Katzinger’s.  Or head to Bodega, one of my favorite bars (Persephone has favorite bars, I just realized this.) for an inexpensive dinner.  These are all for ten bucks, people.  Get out there!

For a bit more at $20 a person you have a wealth of choices.  Dinner at Columbus Brewing Company is a good choice, especially if you opt to try some of Eric Bean’s (CBC’s skillful brewmaster) new beers while you’re there.  The Sticke Alt and the Winter Warmer are two that would pair pretty well with this week’s menu.  Or for a warm, cozy dinner head to Figlio, for a great menu with several choices for each course.

For $30, you’re really starting to get into some serious culinary fireworks.  I stalk the folks at Skillet (they know I do, it’s a friendly kind of stalking…) for menus such as the one Chef Caskey has proposed for this week’s dinner.  I also will admit to kind of a restaurant crush on Rigsby’s Kitchen and G. Michael’s Bistro, both have really luscious looking menus.

And for absolute fun, for the love of Pete, head to Surly Girl Saloon.  For $30 you get dinner for two!  And they have a choice of menus: a little bit trashy or a little bit classy.  I think I’m partial to the trashy side of things.  Anyplace that serves Frito Pie as an appetizer and ding dong cupcakes for dessert is ok in my book.

To top it all off, dine out next week at these wonderful places because a portion of the proceeds benefit the educational programs run by Local Matters.  Eat good, do good!

Have fun next week, kids.  See you out there!

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