Restaurant Week Wrap Up with Pistacia Vera
Posted by cmh gourmand on March 16, 2009
At the end of Restaurant Week – I had tried two new places. I opted to make my Dine Originals Week a full course of course so I finished up with dessert. Pistacia Vera featured a $15 Desert for Two offering; a selection of old and new favorites. The sampling (descriptions provided by Pistacia Vera, digestion by CMH Gourmand) included:
– Layers of ﬂourless almond & pistachio nut meringue, pistachio mascarpone cream and orange preserves, masked in pistachio French buttercream.
– Rich layers of ﬂourless chocolate cake, chocolate ganache and orange & apricot preserves, dusted in premium cocoa.
Vanilla Bean Madeleine
– Layers of vanilla bean madeleine cake (with premium olive oil), vanilla custard and vanilla bean
white chocolate ganache, masked in French buttercream.
– Light nut meringue sandwich cookie with buttercream or ganache. A taste of Paris!
There are twelve flavor varieties to choose from which vary by season. This is always a hard choice, it is best just to get all twelve.
– We could not put more chocolate in this cookie if we tried. Fact: This is true – it could not be more chocoliscious. Well, they could put another Fudgie on top of the Fudgie provided with some Jeni’s Dark Chocolate Gelato in the middle – that would be more chocolate. OK – I will do it – stay tuned.
Pate de Fruit
– All natural fruit jelly made with pure fruit puree, pectin & sugar.
These petite pates received a nice mention in the April 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. There are eight flavors to choose from. I chose cherry.
Cashew Butter Caramel
– Chewy vanilla bean butter caramel with salted cashews.
Choice of Two Beverages – Coffee or Tea
There is only one problem with Pistacia Vera. You have to walk the length of the counter to get to the register so I always end up getting something between my initial selection and final transaction.
I spied Steve Stover (The Dean of Columbus Food Lovers) at the door just before I entered. He was there getting treats for his wife for (I believe) their 40th anniversary. We talked shop for a bit – he confirmed that initial reports relayed by restauranteurs indicated Restaurant Week was a big success. It is very likely we will see a second serving of Dine Originals Restaurant Week in the Fall.
I also had a chance to speak with Anne, one of the owners of Pistachia Vera. She reported they had an incredible turnout during the week, including a lot of new faces. Some of the people popping in did not know there was a special menu so they were thrilled to have a selection of PV treats to get acquainted with the shop. Anne is one of the most pleasant people in the business and she is very approachable. She is a great resource for selections if you get stumped.
For Restaurant Week to be a true success, the key is to make sure restaurants draw in new customers not regular customers like me looking for a deal. New Customers become regular customers if they have a good experience. For me – a successful Restaurant Week means my favorite places stay vibrant, sustainable and successful so I can keep coming back again and again. Don’t forget these places between now and the Fall. Keep trying out new places and supporting old favorites.
The Refectory has long offered a special Bistro menu as an introduction of their menu at a value. Many other Dine Originals restaurants will keep the spirit of Restaurant Week alive with special menus, fixed price samplings and Happy Hours. There are bargains out there and value, so go eat them.