Friday, April 13, 2012

cafe firenze

i am a huge fan of top chef.
i've watched almost every season and rooted for my favorite chef.
i am always in awe of what they can do with food.
i envy their talent, their palettes and their confidence in the kitchen.

last saturday, as part of my birthday celebration, my father-in-law and mother-in-law,
sister-in-law, angela and brother-in-law, mike

and bobby and i
went  to cafe firenze owned by top chef contestant and hearthrob fabio viviani from top chef: new york and all stars.
this spot has been on my list of restaurants to visit.  when you watch the show you imagine the food they make to be delicious.  so to get a chance to try it was pretty amazing.  and it did not disappoint.

oh, did i mention that angela's cousin is john paolone, the executive chef.  this definitely made everything more exciting.

we had a table next to the kitchen so we could see the chefs preparing our food.  john visited our table, poured us some wine, made by another cousin in seattle.  it's great being related to an italian family.
john whipped up a few appetizers to get us started.  i love that these items were not on the menu, made us feel special.
caprese salad with burrata cheese and smoked salmon on flatbread.
gnocchi with braised short ribs and fried calamari.

at this point i was stuffed.  who needs to eat dinner when you have an array of appetizers like this?

i do.
i ordered seafood linguini and did my best to eat it.
more wine.

and talk of john's upcoming wedding at a villa in tuscany.  he's a chef and she's a wedding planner.  you know that wedding is going to be spectacular.  can't wait to see the pictures.
for dessert, bread pudding that was melt in your mouth delicious.
and a cappuccino.
i also enjoyed a taste of the panna cotta which was creamy and perfectly sweet.

seriously, it was a feast like nothing i've had in a long time.  and i enjoyed. every. bite.
the whole night i watched fabio go from one table to another and then to the kitchen.  and we all laughed as one woman approached him and yelled out when she realized who he was.  she even started crying.

i joked about wanting him to come to the table.  as we were getting ready to leave i felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see him standing there.  i didn't yell or cry but i was surprised.  and giddy as you can see in this picture.
what a fun night.

this is angela, john and bobby.  angela and mike can't go to the wedding because she is pregnant and can't travel. we have gladly volunteered to take their place.

so now i want to visit other top chef restaurants.  there are a few here in la, some in san francisco, new york, and chicago.  it would be fun to make a list of the ones we go to.  bobby and i have been to grub twice.  it's owned by betty fraser of top chef: los angeles.

but next on the list is ink, owned by michael voltaggio of top chef: las vegas.  i hear the food is outstanding.  can't wait.  and maybe i'll get a picture with him too.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Wow!! How cool was that. Looks like you had a fantastic time, and the food looked wonderful...what a great experience! :)