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Posts Tagged ‘Pistacia Vera’

Pistacia Vera: My Dine Originals Week Tradition

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 8, 2011

We now have two different sponsored restaurant weeks for a total of four times in the year. This is a good thing for our culinary community and a great excuse for more timid eaters to try something new. My alliance is with The Dine Originals Restaurant Weeks – the (currently) fifty-one restaurants to choose from include most of my favorites. During Restaurant Week, I review the menus, looking for something innovative or different or exciting from places I know and from the few I have not tried before. Points go to a chef that stretches their comfort zone to try something out of their normal menu offerings. Going off the menu is a big risk and a big deal – because this often is the “first date” with a Dine Originals Restaurant and the owners want customers new and old to come back.

While I use this week to try new things, I do have one exception. I always opt for the Pistacia Vera Dine Originals Week sampler for $10. This is a quick and easy way to try our a great gourmet dessert shop.

Here is what they have this time around and this is what I ate in my car while driving to Skillet to pick up my dinner.

Collection includes each of the following (stolen from the Pistacia Vera listing on the Dine Originals Web site):

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Semisweet Chocolate Tawny Port Mousse
Glazed with a Chocolate Ganache. Nut Free. (weighed about 1 pound in my hand)

Light Nut Meringue Sandwich Cookie filled with Buttercream
Flavors include: Black Raspberry & Vanilla Bean. Gluten Free.

Hand-dipped Chocolate made with 72% Valrhona Chocolate
finished with Kilauea Black Sea Salt.
Gluten Free & Nut Free.

Luxurious All Natural Fruit Gems made with pure Fruit Puree, Pectin and Sugar.
Flavors include: Cherry Kirsh and Passion Fruit. Gluten Free & Nut Free.

Handmade Nougat with Orange Blossom and Honey. Gluten free.

541 South Third Street
German Village

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Dine Originals Week: Deepwood & Pistacia Vera $10 + $10 = Full

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 11, 2010

Since this is a post on menus of economy, there will be an economy of words as well. Dine Originals Week comes along twice per year with fifty plus tempting menus. When I am able to participate, I always opt for the pleasure of a Pistacia Vera sampler box. When I can, I also look for a bargain lunch. This time around, I was able enjoy a leisurely lunch a Deepwood. I even left my credit card behind for the bartender as a tip. See the Deepwood Dine Originals special lunch menu below. At the time of this post, you have Friday only to sup on the lunch or wait another six months or so for another shot. If your Friday plans are locked in don’t fret, Deepwood has great sandwiches at lunch in the $10 range all year and an excellent bar menu.

Not on the lunch special menu but always on my mind at Deepwood is a serving of their house made breads. I was happy to see the bread basket arrive to keep me company while I waited on my meal. The thin, crackery bread in the photo went perfectly with my soup. The remainder headed home for later.

Sans sandwich and soup, I moved on to the box of homemade cookies. The photo does not do the mini cookies justice but they were fresh, chewy, dense, and delicious. The box made me feel like I was carting my lunch pail home and the promise of a good cookie later made for a much better day for me.

A quick five minute drive to German Village found me at Pistacia Vera for dessert stockpile number two. Pistacia Vera is always a sure thing offering something for everyone (or everything for me in this foray). The sampler always includes one or two signature macarons as well as pate de fruit. In addition to the Pistacia Vera standards, this version included (most of these are fun to say in an exotic way): a pear ginger frangipan, mocha praline jaconde, cashew caramel (among the best ever) and a florentine.

All in all, a great value at $20 total for two places in one afternoon. You have three days left for this Dine Originals Week – go out and get some goodies.

511 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-2009

Pistacia Vera
541 South Third St
Columbus, OH 43215

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Restaurant Week Wrap Up with Pistacia Vera

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 16, 2009

Pistachia Vera

541 South Third Street * German Village * 614.220.9070

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:

Pistachio Dacquoise
– Layers of flourless almond & pistachio nut meringue, pistachio mascarpone cream and orange preserves, masked in pistachio French buttercream.

Flourless Truffle
– 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.

Parisian Macaron
– 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.

Bittersweet Fudgie
– 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.

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