There was an appetizer (insalata Caprese) , and there was excellent cheese after, both very good, but the, really extraordinary part of this meal was the main course – including a great Spanish wine.
- one swordfish steak (12 ounces) from P.E. & D. D. Seafood, in the Union Square Greenmarket, carefully cut into 2 equal portions, marinated for about half hour in a mixture of olive oil, 4 different chilis (a very small amount of dried Itria-Sirissi chili, peperoncino di Sardegna intero from Buon Italia, part of a small red Calabrian peppers from Campo Rosso Farm, some excellent powdered Nigerian cayenne pepper, and a powdered Spanish dulce paprika ), fresh oregano buds and leaves from Stokes Farm, chopped, and some finely-chopped small red pearl onions from Paffenroth Farms, after which it was drained well and covered with a coating of homemade dry bread crumbs mixed with a little salt, pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, removed, seasoned with salt, sprinkled with a little lemon juice, some purple micro radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and drizzled with olive oil before serving
- the flowerets of a 10-ounce yellow cauliflower from Norwich Meadows Farm, sautéed in a pan in which roughly-sliced garlic cloves from Willow Wisp Farm, some crushed dried Itria-Sirissi chili and more than a teaspoon of Italian fennel seeds had been heated, braised for a few minutes, until beginning to caramelize, eventually joined by 5 ounces of parti-colored ripe cherry tomatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, the cooking continued until the tomatoes had begun to collapse, finished by stirring in some NYC basil from Gotham Greens, via Whole Foods, and peppermint from Stokes Farm, both torn, and sprinkled with micro bronze fennel when arranged on the plates
- the wine was a superb 16-year-old Spanish (Rioja) white, Viña Gravonia Rioja Blanco, Lopez de Heredia (ours was a 2005), from Astor Wines & Spirits
- the music was Giulio Caccini’s opera, ‘L’Euridice’, first performed at the Pitti Palace, Florence, in December, 1602 [more information here]