Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon, Thyme and Goat Cheese Gnocchi at Pier W!

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Pier W never lets me down.

From the fantastic Happy Hour to the incredible views this place is a winner every time.

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Not only is the happy hour a great value; 1/2 price bar food and select drinks, but the quality is first class.

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These calamari must be some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Light and crispy calamari are fried to perfection with delicate fragrant dipping sauces; a spicy mayonnaise and a tamarind sauce.

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This is a far cry from the usual bar food you’d find elsewhere and you get the incredible atmosphere as a bonus!

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The view!

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The wine!

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The scallops!

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Pan seared scallops with goat cheese, thyme and lemon gnocchi with an asparagus coulis was amazing!

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Sous Chef Jack Ahern was on board this night and his precision in the execution of this dish was out of this world.

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The tempura fish and green beans looked yummy…

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…but I couldn’t get over the flavor pairings of my scallops.

I usually feel that mushrooms with any seafood is a risk; the earthiness of the mushrooms can overpower and compete with delicate sea flavors but it was not the case tonight.

Lemon and thyme kept the gnocchi light and the mushrooms and asparagus lent smoky and bitter notes, respectively that were enhanced by the subtle creaminess of the goat cheese.

Asparagus coulis was a light sauce of everything beautiful about asparagus!

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Happy Birthday My Sweet Sixteen

turning a corner PD

This is the time of year when I feel that we are turning a corner. Summer gives way to Autumn, daylight savings time starts, the school year is in full swing, my eldest daughter celebrates another birthday , as do I, and the holidays are bearing down on us like a locomotive at full speed. All good stuff!

We are preparing for the winter ahead and nesting; battening the hatches and our menus are becoming hardier. Rich thick smells are coming out of the kitchen now. We are baking more bread and using cinnamon in the squash. I’m stuffing fish and roasting root vegetables with wine, garlic and butter.

I’ve talked to famous chefs and asked them what they like to cook for family and friends and the overwhelming response that I get is comfort food with lots of ingredients.

It seems to me that our cooking instinct is to fill our meals with the ingredients that evoke the best of our childhood memories. And food smells always seem to have that effect.

I will never forget my daughter’s 16th birthday this past week. We had dinner at Pier W, a lovely seafood restaurant complete with a piano bar and vast water and city views.

She has definitely turned the corner from little girl to young lady. She, of course, ordered the lobster and had white chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Her younger sister had a swanky version of macaroni and cheese.

As I sit at the table I am drinking in every nuance, every smell and every feeling. I am taking mental notes; notes on ingredients and techniques for meals that I want to cook and on flavors long forgotten and rediscovered. And remembering meals past, like this one; celebrations with family and friends.

Listening to Jazzy standards on the piano and being with my family, sharing a glass of wine and beautiful food; I felt the weight of this moment, the grand significance of a threshold being crossed. You could almost see it; I could definitely feel it and holding back the tears became my challenge

So, for now, back to the food, because the tastes and smells will forever create these stirrings of love and family and the memory of the innocence of a journey just begun.

scollops sweet sixteen PD

The Scallops Piccata was perfect and served with braised spinach and crispy fried carrot strings. We had a bottle of, surprise, Colume Malbec. What can I say? It is my current favorite grape and complimented our meals quite nicely.

We finished with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot; it’s a family favorite and the kids love it. (Just special occasions, of course!)

I will never think of scallops the same, again. And I am sure that I will never be able to eat white chocolate cheesecake without tearing up just a bit.

  

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