HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Another restaurant surprise (was Re: Snobs sign it please) (144 lines)
1) From: Sandy Andina
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After a long drive home from Stevens Point, WI (where I had only my  
homeroast in the motel in the morning to acceptably caffeinate me), I  
got a late evening call from my beloved, who had finished rounds and  
records and was leaving the hospital and wanted to know if we could  
meet at our neighborhood Italian restaurant, Calo.  It used to be a  
classic southern Italian (Bari) "red-sauce joint" but as surrounding  
Andersonville went upscale, it added a trattoria next door that  
became more popular than the original; so the entire restaurant was  
remodeled (brick walls, polished dark wood trim and floors, damask  
and suedecloth swags, full-height retractable front windows) to  
resemble the trattoria and the menu revamped to retain the original  
pizzas, pastas and spumoni while adding cutting-edge southern and  
northern Italian specialties and sophisticated desserts. In its  
simpler past, espresso came to the table in a flip-drip pot and  
cappuccino was defined by the waiter as being topped with "steamed  
cream."  But after the remodel, the trattoria's espresso setup was  
moved into the bar. I wandered over and noticed an automatic 2-group  
LaSpaziale Vivaldi (with a "Lavazza" badge on the front) and a pair  
of Mazzer SJs filled with regular and (presumably) decaf espresso  
beans. (For those who preferred a more conventional cup, there were  
also a pair of Fetco brewers, jars of beans and a commercial bulk  
grinder). After a meal that began with Mumm's Cuvee Napa (for some  
reason, they prefer that to prosecco but it sure beats Asti  
Spumante), progressed to achingly perfect halibut in balsamico with  
roasted peppers and asparagus, and ended with a massive wedge of  
spumoni with a generous dollop of semifreddo at the core (one thing  
Chicago has always done better than NYC) I thought "what the hey,  
I'll have an espresso." Seeing as how at most places a "double" meant  
a coffee-cupful of thin black coffee with halfhearted pale yellow  
rapidly dissipating crema, I ordered a single.
Imagine my surprise when I was brought a classic tulip-shaped  
espresso cup with a tiny spoon and two free-form lumps of sugar (one  
each brown & white) plus of course the obligatory strip of lemon zest  
that no self-respecting espresso bar would offer but no Italian  
restaurant would dare omit...........and inside the cup, a tad more  
than half full, appeared a ristretto with thick rust-and-brown  
mottled crema. I pinched myself and took a sip............GOD SHOT!!!!!
I asked the owner and he said that Lavazza delivers weekly and that  
he refuses to use beans more than 10 days old.   Progress is being  
made!  Within three miles of each other are two Italian restaurants  
with high coffee standards (the other, Bocca Della Verita in Lincoln  
Sq., serves Caffe d'Arte, with pitchers of extra microfoam on the  
side with its  cappuccini) *and* Metropolis Coffee! (The latter, plus  
another small independent cafe, actually caused an SBC outlet to  
throw up its hands and concede defeat, and Starbucks doesn't dare  
come with 1/4 mile).
Sandy (happily surfing the Third Wave in Midwest Coffee Heaven)
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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After a long drive home from Stevens Point, WI (where I had only my =
homeroast in the motel in the morning to acceptably caffeinate me), I =
got a late evening call from my beloved, who had finished rounds and =
records and was leaving the hospital and wanted to know if we could meet =
at our neighborhood Italian restaurant, Calo.  It used to be a classic =
southern Italian (Bari) "red-sauce joint" but as surrounding =
Andersonville went upscale, it added a trattoria next door that became =
more popular than the original; so the entire restaurant was remodeled =
(brick walls, polished dark wood trim and floors, damask and suedecloth =
swags, full-height retractable front windows) to resemble the trattoria =
and the menu revamped to retain the original pizzas, pastas and spumoni =
while adding cutting-edge southern and northern Italian specialties and =
sophisticated desserts. In its simpler past, espresso came to the table =
in a flip-drip pot and cappuccino was defined by the waiter as being =
topped with "steamed cream."  But after the remodel, the trattoria's =
espresso setup was moved into the bar. I wandered over and noticed an =
automatic 2-group LaSpaziale Vivaldi (with a "Lavazza" badge on the =
front) and a pair of Mazzer SJs filled with regular and (presumably) =
decaf espresso beans. (For those who preferred a more conventional cup, =
there were also a pair of Fetco brewers, jars of beans and a commercial =
bulk grinder). After a meal that began with Mumm's Cuvee Napa (for some =
reason, they prefer that to prosecco but it sure beats Asti Spumante), =
progressed to achingly perfect halibut in balsamico with roasted peppers =
and asparagus, and ended with a massive wedge of spumoni with a generous =
dollop of semifreddo at the core (one thing Chicago has always done =
better than NYC) I thought "what the hey, I'll have an espresso." Seeing =
as how at most places a "double" meant a coffee-cupful of thin black =
coffee with halfhearted pale yellow rapidly dissipating crema, I ordered =
a single.  
Imagine my surprise when I = was brought a classic tulip-shaped espresso cup with a tiny spoon and = two free-form lumps of sugar (one each brown & white) plus of course = the obligatory strip of lemon zest that no self-respecting espresso bar = would offer but no Italian restaurant would dare omit...........and = inside the cup, a tad more than half full, appeared a ristretto with = thick rust-and-brown mottled crema. I pinched myself and took a = sip............GOD SHOT!!!!!
I asked the owner and he = said that Lavazza delivers weekly and that he refuses to use beans more = than 10 days old.   Progress is being made!  Within three miles of = each other are two Italian restaurants with high coffee standards (the = other, Bocca Della Verita in Lincoln Sq., serves Caffe d'Arte, with = pitchers of extra microfoam on the side with its  cappuccini) *and* = Metropolis Coffee! (The latter, plus another small independent cafe, = actually caused an SBC outlet to throw up its hands and concede defeat, = and Starbucks doesn't dare come with 1/4 = mile). Sandy (happily surfing the = Third Wave in Midwest Coffee Heaven)www.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-3--394497260--


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