pasta; skate, ramps, garlic, lemon, lovage; broccoli rabe


Sitting down to the first course, because the pasta looked so small in that broad shallow bowl, I felt as if I was in the kind of fancy restaurant we seldom visit.

There was this primi, because there was some of a delicious pasta e ceci remaining from a few days before, because I knew it would still be very good, and because it would let me assemble a main course that might also be pretty minimal. I’m definitely understanding the Italian attraction for the antepasti, primi, secundi, contorni, formaggi, dolci thing, but, yeah, who has the time these days?


  • the main course was prepared with 7 small skate wings from P.E. & D. D. Seafood, about 14 ounces altogether, coated on both sides with a coarse polenta which had been seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed in olive oil (and a bit of butter) for a very few minutes (about 7), turning once, removed, the pan wiped with a paper towel, 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, chopped ramps from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and one sliced garlic clove from Whole Foods introduced into it and stirred over a lowered flame, followed by the addition of a little more butter (1 1/2 tablespoons), juice from half of an organic lemon, and a mix of mostly chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge and a little chopped parsley from Eataly
  • tender collard greens from Lani’s Farm, washed, drained, and braised very lightly in a heavy pot in which two halved garlic cloves from Whole Foods had been allowed to sweat in some olive oil, the dish finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine throughout was a French (Rhône) rosé, Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45 2013, from Philippe Liquors
  • the music throughout  was that of Antoine Forqueray, his amazing ‘Pieces de viole