Dinner: Shiny, Happy Dumplings (Actually They’re Fiocchi)

photo-7Fiocchi, Italian-style dumplings, it’s a six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other, sort of question. (And yeah, I’d never heard of them either.) They’re little pasta pockets stuffed with deliciousness, in this case, pear and four cheeses: robiola, Grana Padano, taleggio and ricotta. 

photo-6Picked up a package of about 20 of them (10 oz.) for $7.99 at Agata & Valentina, the local swanky grocery store in my new neighborhood. There are many, many beautiful things there that I’m sure I’ll be eating in the next few months; check out their cheese counter

Tonight they went into a bowl with some Brussles sprouts that had been blanched then pan fried with the last ribbons of salami. I was going for a variation of the Brussles sprouts with bacon thing and it sort of worked, mainly I was being lazy. Tomorrow night I’m actually going to cook them up properly with some cream, fresh peas and mint, per the recommendation of the New York Times’ dining section, so stay tuned.

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Lunch: Pyramida, Here I Comea

From the homemade menus printed off on neon-colored copy paper to the press clippings tacked up on walls — the New York Magazine mention, which names Pyramida’s lemonade no. 1 in the city, gets its own plastic frame and sits front and center on the counter, the others on the list X-ed out — Pyramida just looks and feels like a well-loved neighborhood spot.

photo-4photo-5And if my lamb shish kebab pita sandwich ($6.25) was any indication of the quality of food, it’s going to become a regular stop of mine, too. The pita bread was soft and dense enough to keep its contents in check.  Chargrilled cubes of lamb, crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes and a generous dollop of silky, smokey baba ghannouj ($1.25 extra) spilled over the top and made the pita bulge at the sides, and still it didn’t split  (the worst possible pita sandwich faux pas). 

I want the lemonade. I will be back for the lemonade on a really hot day when it’s just going to taste so good, but at $4.50 it’s not cheap. To get out for $10, I’d have to get a falafel sandwich, no extras, and the lemonade; or just one appetizer and the lemonade; and would that be enough?

Breakfast: Spicy & Bold, It’s How I Like My …

photo-5… hot cocoa. You were wondering where I was going with that one, weren’t you? 

This cinnamon-y number is from Caribou Coffee, a Minneapolis-based company that I will forever associate with the MSP airport as I’ve never seen one elsewhere, not even driving around the state (although I’m sure they exist). 

The verdict is still out on what I really think about it, but first impression is mixed. Tastes like one of those cinnamon after dinner mints has been crushed and mixed into my hot chocolate, and I’m not sure I like those mints to begin with. I think it could be improved with some Bailey’s or Kahlua and had as an after-dinner treat. Hmm …