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Archive for May 10th, 2012

As many incredible restaurants as there are in NYC, there are still a crushing number of disappointments.  So, when I do find a place that’s just good as, nay, better than I expect–man, it LIGHTS.ME.UP!

Enter EMPORIO RESTAURANT, located in the fabulous Soho neighborhood.

I’d never heard of Emporio until last weekend, when my roommate Carina took her visiting family there upon a recommendation. She returned home with praise and delicious pizza, which she graciously shared. I added Emporio to my must-visit list, but it’s a loonnggg list.

Yesterday, my dear college/life friend Allie was in town for a hot second–red-eyed in from LA for work!–and a few of our girlfriends decided to grab dinner and celebrate her brief presence.

“Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail palm trees”

And what restaurant do you think was chosen for our gathering?

IT’S A SIGN! No really, that’s the sign.

Meant to be.

Despite the slice of pizza I’d had in preparation for this experience, Emporio still blew my mind! We ended up with a sampling several parts of the menu, and nottaone let us down.

Allie’s pasta dish, made on-site with organic eggs: Taglierini--saffron-flavored hand-cut pasta, rock shrimp, cherry tomato, hot pepper.

Scallop Special. Huge, sweet and succulent, over a bed of creamy polenta and sauteed spinach (or kale?)

You know when something is SO extremely good or bad that the absurdity of it induces laughter?!

Speck & Mushroom pizza with stracchino cheese, truffle oil

That was me, ogling and consuming this pizza. I gasped and giggled my way through one of the best pizzas I have ever had.

As I ate, my brain registered only the most barbarian of sensations–warm, fatty, chewy, salty, CREAMY! I had wisely trusted Carter to order for us and hadn’t looked too closely at the ingredient list, so I’d just assumed that it was in fact cream-based.

Today, when I was able to achieve mental clarity (my caveman high lasted through the night), I looked up the menu and noticed “stracchino cheese” listed.

Creamy culprit identified! Stracchino is a type of Italian cow’s-milk cheese. It is eaten very young, has no rind and a very soft, creamy texture and normally a mild and delicate flavour.”

Apparently, Stracchino has a very short shelf-life, which makes it hard to come by. You’d better believe I have my eyes on the prize. Truly, one of the most luxurious foods I’ve experienced.

The rest of the elements were on-point as well–meaty mushrooms, buttery speck (a type of Italian prosciutto) sliced almost to transparency, drizzled with a perfectly prudent amount of truffle oil. The crust was wafer-thin but still doughy around the edges. Magnificent.

Along with the fabulous food, I was also impressed by Emporio’s rustic and cozy interior and its gracious, accommodating waitstaff. A winner all around!

I headed home in a cozy haze around 10 pm and ended my What I Ate Wednesday with a bowl of  Chocolate 1-2-3 Cake–this was my recipe “failure” from Monday night that I’ve been munching on nonetheless. It’s good, just not great, so I didn’t view it as post-worthy.

Enormous blob of Protein Frosting 2.0

I did find a way to make it great though :).

I promised you entertainment, not patience.

1-Minute Healthy Chocolate Frosting

(enough for about 1-2 servings of cake or ice cream)

  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dagoba organic)
  • 1.5 teaspoon honey/agave nectar/brown rice syrup (feel free to experiment with sweetener of choice!)

Add ingredients to a microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine. It will seem like there’s too much cocoa powder but be patient. Adjust ratios to suite your taste. Heat for 20-30 seconds if coconut oil starts to solidify before you can add it to your base of choice…or mouth.

Wham bam thank you ma’am

Decadent with an intense chocolate flavor, this frosting is not only tastier than its canned counterparts but significantly better for you. No artificial ingredients, all healthy fats, and it took my mediocre cake to unimagined heights!

Off to enjoy a leisurely Thursday evening. Have a great night :).

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